The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Mahatma GandhiAs stated in the Irvington Community School, Inc. Mission Statement’s fourth and final tenet, a distinct part of our educational mission is to “develop responsible citizens through involvement in service learning and community engagement for the betterment of local and global communities.” Since the 2013-2014 school year, Irvington Preparatory Academy has had a Service Learning Program in place. Teaching students to be selfless is the goal, as we believe deeply in the importance of student character development. Students participating successfully in the ICS Service Learning Program can declare this in their college and university applications, an experience institutions of higher learning view quite favorably. Further, graduates are recognized at commencement for their service learning achievement. IPA students are encouraged to participate in project-based, service learning experience during their high school career. To obtain recognition at graduation for their service learning efforts, IPA students must complete at least 20 hours of approved service to earn a Service Learning Participation Certificate, OR 40 hours of approved service learning to earn a Service Learning Distinction Cord. To date, students have provided service to numerous local nonprofits, including Shepherd Community Center, Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity, Ransburg YMCA, and Indy Urban Acres. As well, on the twice-annual Senior Day of Service (fall and spring), IPA students work with Irvington Community Elementary School and Irvington Community Middle School teachers in the classroom, assisting with younger students. Moreover, teams of seniors work on the ICS Campus grounds alongside faculty and staff members as part of the ICS Green Team Initiatives. Plans are to expand this program in several ways: making it a more prominent part of the high school student experience as well as eventually extending the program more formally to the middle school environment. If you know of or work for a nonprofit organization that would be interested in benefiting from Irvington Preparatory Academy students’ volunteer spirit, please contact Irvington Community Schools’ Community Engagement Specialist Jana Goebel at (317) 357-3770 x4110. We appreciate your helping our students find themselves in service to their community.