On May 4 during the annual ministry and service awards assembly, Chaminade Julienne recognized its student body for its combined contribution of 9,714 hours of service to the broader community this year. The total represents hours volunteered over and above what the school requires of students at each grade level.
“According to Independent Sector, the value of an hour of volunteering is $21.36. In other words, your service has contributed $207,491 to our local, national and international communities,” said Kelli Kinnear, ministry and service director. The Independent Sector is a leadership forum for charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs.
Guests in attendance included Teresa Philips, associate director of the mission office at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, who was on hand to present the second annual Spirit of Sister Dorothy Stang Award to CJ religion teacher Mick Mominee. The award is given to Catholic faculty members, parish lay ministers, and graduating high school seniors who demonstrate the values of Sr. Stang, SNDdeN, a 1949 Julienne alumna who was martyred in 2005 while serving migrant farmers in Brazil. Mominee, nominated by fellow faculty member Laurie Eloe, is one of just 10 recipients in 2011.
“This award is not just a representation of my own commitment to the issues of social justice and awareness, but I think it also demonstrates that through the mission of Chaminade Julienne, we as a school are carrying on the vision of Sr. Dorothy,” he said. That mission, which is grounded in the Gospel message of Jesus Christ, is fostered by the charisms of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Society of Mary, the sponsoring religious orders of CJ.
“Central to our mission at CJ is to prepare young men and women to become people of compassion, integrity, and service so it is only right that we honor our students who live that out,” said Kinnear, who has organized the Service Awards each year since 2007. Students accumulated service hours by working independently in the community as well as in groups through mission trips and programs offered by the school.
The Little Sibs Program, open to juniors and seniors, has annually allowed CJ students the opportunity to serve as role models for area grade schoolers—known as “little sibs”—for 15 years. More than 20 kids in the program from Immaculate Conception and Ruskin Elementary were honored at the ceremony along with their “big brother” or “big sister” and afterward, each pair enjoyed lunch on campus together.
As a component of the Catholic educational experience, CJ builds student service into its curriculum. Freshmen participate in one service opportunity each semester; sophomores perform 100 minutes of service to CJ; juniors volunteer 25 hours to an outside agency; and seniors participate in a class-wide global service and justice project.
“The overwhelming majority of our students here at CJ volunteer over and above their class service requirements,” Kinnear stated. Students who performed anywhere from 25 to 100 hours above required service were specially recognized, with 19 volunteering more than 100 hours beyond what is necessary. Senior Tiarra Comer was spotlighted for the 401 hours that she contributed throughout her four years at CJ.
In addition, junior Christine Meadors received the Sister Ruth Ann Bange, SNDdeN, Service Award for her outstanding contributions to the broader Dayton Community through the Community Service program, while sophomore Will Bonner was awarded the George Early Scholarship for distinguishing himself as a servant leader and as an example of Christian service for the Chaminade Julienne community.
“Our hope is that this awards assembly will inspire other students to get involved with service, and to realize that as Christians, we are all called to serve as Jesus did,” Kinnear said.