Year of Service

Too often, high schools treat community service like a box to be checked. They focus on tracking hours over tracking impact, on quantity instead of quality. The implication is that once you’ve done your time and checked your box, the job is done.

At University High School, true from-the-heart community service has always been an important component of our community, rooted in the core value of stewardship. From initial partnerships with Brooke’s Place and the Lord’s Pantry to our more comprehensive Year of Service program, we seek to help students find meaningful ways to understand the problems facing our community and engage in solutions.

How Year of Service Works

University High School’s Year of Service is a school-wide program intended to teach students about authentic, sustainable, and long-term service that makes a significant impact. Students identify a cause they care about, work with others who share that passion, research the issues that impact their cause, seek out a community partner to help further their understanding locally, and develop a project to benefit some aspect of that cause.

By dedicating time to projects that involve research, planning, leadership, action, reflection, and opportunities to share, we hope to provide students with an experience that reaches beyond merely logging hours or donating supplies.

In 2017-18, Year of Service causes included the following:

  • Animal Welfare
  • Art with a Heart
  • Bees & Pollinators
  • Environmental Conservation
  • CyberSeniors
  • Exodus Refugee
  • Food Insecurity/Hunger in Indianapolis
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Homelessness
  • Malala Fund
  • Premature Births
  • Riley Dance Marathon
  • Stress & Wellness
  • Women’s Equality

Hear from a Year of Service Group

I won an essay contest about my experience in the prison and incarceration Year of Service group, and how it relates to social justice here at Loyola University Chicago. I got to choose between a book scholarship and a chance to speak, and I chose to speak. The event is tonight, and I just wanted to say how great my experience at University High School was and how it is helping me here at college. Thank you for the opportunities and experiences that could have only been provided to me by you.


Class of 2016

Year of Service was a great experience that has definitely added to my overall high school experience. It was a creative way to connect with the Indianapolis community and get a feel for the present social issues. I think it was so meaningful because it encouraged individual ideas and work to help improve the community.

Grace Rozembajier

Class of 2019