Service at Immaculate Heart isn’t just something that is required; it’s a central part of who we are. Over the last year, our students have served a total of 26, 606. On average, IHA’s young women serve double the amount of hours required of them. The highest achieving class in the 2021-22 academic year was the Class of 2022, with a total of 8,583 hours. Additionally, IHA students have accumulated a total of 740 President’s Volunteer Service Awards, with 66 this year alone.
The President’s Volunteer Service Award was founded in 2003 by the United States President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action too. We honored 44 students for achieving the President’s Volunteer Service Award at the Bronze level (100-174 hours per year), 11 at the Silver level (175-249 hours per year), and 11 at the Gold level (250 and more hours per year). Recipients receive a pin, and a certificate signed by the President of the United States. Big congratulations to the top service hour earner, Jessica Gerber’23, who earned 513 total hours in the last year. Below is the listing of all President’s Volunteer Service Award recipients, in order of hours earned.
Rose Marie Shamoon’24
Summer Ann VanWyckhouse’24
Mary Grace Maurer’22
During the Service Awards Assembly, the IHA community heard from Riley Ypelaar’22, Christian Service Board service president, as she reflected on her service journey at Immaculate Heart. She said how the heart of our school revolves around service and giving back to others. “By coming to IHA, you have agreed to uphold a higher standard of service for a cause bigger than yourself,” she explained to her peers. “I want to remind my sisters at IHA that service is not about getting those awards or adding them to a resume, but about the dignity of the humans that we uphold during the service. Through service, we are completing God’s mission that was sent forth to us. You won’t be remembered by how many followers you have on Instagram or who you sat with at lunch. Instead, you will be remembered by the legacy you leave behind based on the lives you positively impacted.”
This year, we introduced the Kathy Krey Sova’78 Breast Cancer Awareness & Research Award. This memorial award, presented by Kathy's good friend and IHA classmate, Serena Bocchino’78, was established by Kathy’s family and friends in her memory. Congratulations to the 2022 recipient, Marissa Roberge’22.
Due to modified service requirements beginning in the 2020-21 school year, IHA students were responsible for planning and executing a Valor Project. This project allowed our students to use their specific gifts and talents to leave the world better than they found it. Those interested could then submit their Valor Projects for a chance to win The Dorothy Day Valor Project of the Year Contest. Congratulations to this year’s winner, Gracyn Pisa’23 for her work founding Beads for Buddies. Gracyn taught herself how to make bracelets during the pandemic and turned her new hobby into a way to give back in a big way. Through Beads for Buddies, she sells custom bracelets with 100% of the proceeds going to the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, whose mission is to help families tackle childhood cancer by providing comprehensive financial, emotional, and practical support.
Congratulations are extended to the following students who were recognized with Exceptional Awards for service in a particular area or with specific populations.
Exceptional Service to the International Community
Exceptional Service to the Elderly
Exceptional Service to the Special Needs Community
Mary Grace Maurer’22
Exceptional Service to the Sick
Exceptional Service in the Area of Music
Exceptional Service in the Area of the Arts
Exceptional Service to Under Resourced Communities
In Recognition of Service to IHA
The Spirit of Service Award is presented annually to one student per grade who demonstrates a spirit of service, a dedication to helping others that is core to who she is as a person. Congratulations to this year’s recipients:
The Servant Athlete Award is presented to students who are both exceptional athletes and servant leaders. Congratulations to this year’s recipients:
The Servant Leadership Award, the largest service award given at IHA, is presented annually to a senior whose commitment to service has transformed the culture of IHA. Past winners include Kaylee McKay’21, Elizabeth Encke’20, Elizabeth Croci’20, Victoria Bertussi’19, Regina Garvey’19, Emily Ash’19, Tess Szydlik’18, and Isabella Somera’17. Congratulations to this year’s Servant Leadership Award recipient, Riley Ypelaar’22.
Thank you to Mrs. Sarah Shutrop, director of formation, for continually leading our young women in their passion to serve. Congratulations to all of IHA’s generous, compassionate, and kind-hearted students! Click here for the full photo album, courtesy of Mike Hamlett Photography.