Burke Life

Civic Engagement in High School

We offer a myriad of community service opportunities that play to the individual passions and strengths of our students. While high school students are required to engage in a minimum of 15 hours of service each year with a local nonprofit or other approved organization, many go way beyond that requirement. We have established relationships with a large number of service organizations in the DC area.

Below is the list of questions we give students to guide them toward finding the service that best fits their interests and abilities.

How to Get Started

List of 6 items.

  • STEP 1: How do you want to make a difference in your community?

    • What social realities that you witness concern you?
    • Do these issues carry local, national, and/or global significance?
    • Describe your interests, talents, and skills—how can you channel these toward social action and change?
  • STEP 2: With whom and for whom would you like to serve?

    Look at the organizations on the Burke Service webpage—do any jump out at you? Are you interested in, for example:
    • Education and mentoring?
    • Disaster and emergency services?
    • Health and wellness?
    • Hunger and homelessness?
    • Environmental justice?
    • Immigration and refugee resettlement?
    At this stage, you want to discern what you want to give as well as receive from the your community service project.
  • STEP 3: When and where are you available to serve?

    • What transportation is available to you?
    • What times work best for you and your family’s schedule:
      • Afterschool, Monday through Friday?
      • Saturday and/or Sunday?
      • Summer, Winter and/or Spring Breaks?
    Would you consider going on a Burke service trip?
  • STEP 4: What organization(s) will you serve with?

    Research online, talk with the Service Director, attend service fairs, and check out nonprofits' volunteer webpages to find out:
    • What is the age requirement?
    • Is there an application to complete?
    • Are there trainings and if so, when do they occur?
    • Who is the volunteer coordinator?
    • What are volunteer duties and expectations?
    • Do I have friends who might be interested in serving with me?
    • Are there direct service opportunities available?
    • What population will you serve?
    • Does this organization meet Burke's service requirement?*
    *Complete a pre-service form and speak with the Service Director to confirm your proposed project meets the criteria.
  • STEP 5: Be in service to your community!

  • STEP 6: What did the experience mean to you?

    After engaging in service, reflection of the experience helps ensure that students do not, to quote T.S. Eliot, “have the experience but miss the meaning.”
    Review the post-service reflection form and determine what type of reflection format you would like to use.  Students can submit a written reflection or present in assembly, grade HR, or to a small group of Burke adults. 
    Post-service forms must be submitted at the start of the school year or within a month of completing your service to receive credit.
Co-ed, progressive, college prep school in Washington, DC featuring a challenging curriculum in an inclusive environment for grades 6-12.