ASD celebrates third year of new service learning


Photographer: Mackenzie Wheatley

The 2019 ASD Celebration of Service was facilitated by the two student announcers, D. Wilson (’19) and G. Stotland (’19).

Claire R. , Yejin O. , and Ranad B.

The opening slide for the Celebration of Service.

As every high schooler knows, this year’s Celebration of Service was to celebrate and showcase the service done by all the service clubs at ASD. It took place in the ASD theater Apr. 15. Representatives from more than 20 different groups, from Little Dragons and the Global Issues Club to the Spring Break service trips, presented on their collective contributions to the ASD community throughout the academic year. Each group presented a Google Slides screen summarizing their members’ activities. At the end of this group presentation, awards were presented to students from each grade, and one high school student was recognized for overall service.

One of the many service clubs the Celebration of Service showcased was Little Dragons, who pair volunteer high school students with their elementary counterparts.

From 9th grade, H. Kamel (’22) was chosen for his participation in the Equality for Palestinians Club, which is advised by Mr. Moe Haidar. From 10th grade, Q. Irawan (‘21) from the Tri-M Music Honor Society was introduced by Ms. Stephanie Gravelle. D. Han (‘20) was selected as the 11th grade winner for working with the Effect Club, which is advised by Ms Mary May. L. Albanese (‘19) was awarded 12th grade honors by Mr. Chi Shang for his leadership in ASD’s National Honor Society. The overall service award was given to A. Mansour (‘19) by Dr. Hawkins for Mansour’s many contributions to the ESL Club, whose advisor is Ms. Jan Farmer.

The Celebration of Service was created three years ago as a way for a newly formed Student Service Executive team to recognize and celebrate the service work performed by students. They realized that multiple awards and recognition were provided for other activities, such as sports or fine arts, yet students putting a similar commitment into service as sports or fine arts didn’t get the same recognition. Thus, the Celebration of Service was born.

One student’s service learning combined his interest in maintaining a strong connection to his native heritage and strengthening Korean cultural awareness in Qatar.

The goal of this event was to make students reflect on their service work over the year. Mr. Chi-Yan Shang noted that one aspect of service was looking back on and communicating what was done, which was what this celebration allowed students to do.

This event has steadily evolved over these three years, as times change and the school looks at what does or doesn’t work. The first celebration focused on the impacts of ASD students’ initiatives, but faculty leaders believed it fell somewhat short of fully acknowledging the student learning process. Thus, the celebration began to focus more on highlighting the learning gained by students as well as recognizing their contributions to great projects.

As noted by Mr. Shang, one of the best parts of the new celebration is “…that it tries to equally highlight everybody’s service commitment.” He also added, “Although not everybody presents personally, almost everything that everybody did for their service gets to be seen. This has a great add-on effect of generating new ideas or collaboration for service.”

Mr. Shang suggested that “service in general sometimes may force students out of their comfort zone.” In the end, this has clearly been for the best. The ASD community’s expectations have been raised year by year. Congratulations to all the service clubs for their accomplishments and contributions. Stay motivated and keep changing the world, one goal at a time!