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Seniors complete service work as theology final

Bishop Noll seniors load up water to donate to East Chicago.

Bishop Noll seniors load up water to donate to East Chicago.

Bishop Noll seniors load up water to donate to East Chicago.

Destinee Flowers, Photo Editor

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Bishop Noll seniors load up water to donate to East Chicago.

  This year, senior theology teacher Ms. Lydia Skurka wanted to something a little bit different with her seniors. Instead of the the tradition final exam, seniors will be doing something else, something big: service.

  Each senior will complete an individual service project and then write a reflection paper on their experience.

  “The course is Social Justice, so we have spent all of second semester learning about the different issues of social justice. So the final exam is actually going out and doing something for the most vulnerable in our society which is what our social justice tells us we should do,” Skurka said.

  There were two options here for your service project, collecting cases of bottled water for the people affected by lead in East Chicago, or creating your own service project.

  Each senior must have completed a minimum of 5 hours with a reflection essay and all required documentation.

Senior Rachel Carlassare volunteered at Bibles for Missions Thrift Center in Highland.

  “ It is a  thrift store that is run by all elderly volunteers, and all the profits from the store are sent to buying children bibles who can’t afford them. I like working with the elderly people because they put perspective on life. They show me how important service is and they teach me there are good people in the world. I feel blessed that I am able to help the catholic community even though it will be someplace else in the world,” Carlassare said.

   Jailynn Thomas, Rachel Tredway, Brittany Anderson, Tiffany Daniel went a different route. They decided to get together and make care packages for hospital patients. They worked with the cancer patients of Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana, putting together care packages with include various items such as small journals/prayer books, fuzzy socks, nutrition drinks, small teddy bears, non-perishable snacks, chapstick, toothbrushes, and non-scented lotion.

   “We decided to do this service project instead of bringing water because we wanted to give back in a way that was very hands on. We wanted to experience seeing the faces of those who we were giving back to as well as put our own time and creativity into giving back to others,” said Thomas.

  “So far we have been very successful. We have roughly fifty people on our donation list and have raised well over $100. Our ultimate goal is to receive enough funding to be able to make 30 care packages. I personally think that the desire to actually give back varies among students that are doing this project. I have noticed that some have enjoyed giving back and have taken the initiative to go above and beyond for the good of the poor. Other people only have one goal in mind: receiving an A.”

  Although it’s only in its trial year, Skurka hoped her service project final inspired enough students to see beyond the grade for this social justice course.  Rachel was inspired to volunteer and placed a perspective on life. Jailynn was inspired to impact someone else’s life in a positive way. Though most of the seniors chose the water project option, they all did service in some type of way. They helped the most vulnerable, and that is all that matters.

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Seniors complete service work as theology final