Christopher Columbus High School

A Catholic School for Young Men in the Marist Tradition since 1958
Faith & Service

Christian Service

Why We Serve

While community service is required in many public schools and by the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, the students at Christopher Columbus engage in service for very particular reasons that are fundamental to our identity as a Catholic and Marist school:

The Gospel Mandate
”I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me (Matthew 25: 35-36).”

Our Distinct Character as a Marist School
“We present the Good News…in the form of Jesus’ vision of the human community: reaching out to the “least” of our society, seeking the common good of all, and taking responsibility for the future of humanity and of God’s creation (In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat: A Vision for Marist Education Today, no. 82.).” 

 “We are created by God with unique gifts and talents which we are called to develop and share with the Church and the wider community (The Marks of a Marist Student).”


It is the responsibility of each Christopher Columbus High School student to understand and conform to these requirements if he expects to receive service-hours credit.

Failure to Fulfill the Christian Service Requirement: Following graduation, no diplomas, records or transcripts will be released for any student who has not fulfilled the Christian Service Graduation Requirement described here.  These documents will be held until the student fulfills this requirement.

Check Your CCHS Email

Students are expected to regularly check their CCHS email for information from the Christian Service Office, including:
  • Service hours opportunities.
  • Deadline reminders.
  • Announcements of changes to policy or procedure.
  • Inquiries or decisions regarding documentation submitted by the student.
A student's failure to check email is not a legitimate excuse for not knowing critical information.

List of 8 items.


    Prior to graduation, Christopher Columbus High School students are required to complete a minimum of 100 hours of qualified volunteer service. We strongly encourage students to fulfill this requirement incrementally over their four-year CCHS career by performing at least 25 hours of service each school year.

    The 100-hour Christian Service Requirement is prorated for students who enter CCHS after freshman year, as follows:

    Sophomores: 75 hours
    Juniors: 50 hours
    Seniors: 25 hours

    If a transfer student wishes to receive credit for service hours performed while attending his previous high school:
    • He must provide acceptable, verifiable documentation of qualified service (see GETTING CREDIT FOR QUALIFIED SERVICE HOURS).
    • This documentation must be submitted by the student, in person, in paper form, to the Christian Service Office within 30 days of the student's matriculation at CCHS.
    • Approved service hours performed during the school year in which the student transfers to CCHS will be credited against the prorated requirement.
    • Approved service hours performed during high school years previous to the school year in which the student transfers to CCHS will be credited against the full 100-hour graduation requirement (in this instance the student waives the transfer student proration).

    1. General Criteria
    To be eligible for credit, service must - at a minimum - meet all three of the following criteria:
    A.   Service hours must be unpaid. 
    B.   Service hours must be performed on behalf of non-profit organizations.
    C.   Service hours must be performed on behalf of organizations whose practices do not conflict with the values and beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church.   
    2. Examples of Eligible Service Organizations
    A.    Religious Entities:
    The faith communities of any recognized religious tradition (for example, Catholic parishes, Protestant churches, Jewish synagogues, Muslim mosques, Buddhist temples) qualify as locations for acceptable service hours.  Any program conducted by a religious entity is eligible.  
    B.    Public Entities:
    Institutions and programs conducted by federal, state, or local governments (for example, national parks, public schools, Florida charter schools, public libraries, public parks and recreation programs, municipal/county fire- and police-departments) are non-profit and qualify as locations for acceptable service hours.
    C.   Any Organization Granted Non-Profit Status by:
      • The State of Florida: (Florida Non-Profit)
      • The U.S Internal Revenue Service: (501c3)
    D.   CCHS Student Organizations:
    Service with CCHS programs, sports teams, and student organizations is eligible for credit if it meets all other CCHS guidelines.  Students may perform qualifying Christian service hours through a number of CCHS school-sponsored student organizations, including:
      • Athletic Training Room (Brother Herb)
      • Baseball Team (Mr. Weber)
      • Cangrejos Against Cancer (Bro. John)
      • Campus Ministry (Mr. G. Gonzalez)
      • CCNN (Ms. Insua; Mr. Delgado)
      • Debate Team (Mr. Martinez)
      • Francophone Week (Ms. Pugh)
      • Key Club (Mr. Chacon)
      • Library Aides (Bro. Edmund)
      • Mas Scholars (Ms. Galvez-Cuesta)
      • Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society (Mr. Moro)
      • National Honor Society (Ms. Confresi)
      • Admissions Office Volunteers (Mr. Marinelli)
      • Peer Tutors (Ms. Vinson)
      • Squires Club (Bro. Eladio)
      • Technology Department Volunteers (Mr. Bello)
    3. One Hour of Unpaid Work = Credit for 1 Service Hour

    A.    Christopher Columbus High school determines service-hours credit – not the organization with which the student serves.
    B.    The CCHS policy is: the student will receive 1-hour of credit for each 60 minutes of actual service.
    C.   The service organization’s role is to accurately document the student’s “start” and “stop” times.
    D.   CCHS will not honor “hours awarded” by organizations if it is not an accurate report of time actually served by the students, such as:
                         i.       Bonus hours (doubled hours, etc.)
                         ii.      “Block grant” hours (pre-determined hours “awarded” regardless of actual time volunteered).
                iii.    Hours “awarded” in exchange for donations of money, goods, prepared food, etc.

    4. Immersion Experiences

    A. An “Immersion Experience” is generally defined as an out-of-state (or out-of-country)
    service project conducted by a non-profit organization in which participants live and
    work under difficult conditions.
    B. For service projects pre-approved by CCHS as “Immersion Experiences,” students will
    receive 24 hours of credit for each full day of participation. 
    C. The following have been approved by CCHS for “Immersion Experience” credit:

    Blue Missions
    8-Day Service Trips (200 hours)

    Marist Center at Esopus, NY
    1-Week Sumer Camps for Disadvantaged Children (100 hours)
    Contact Brother John Healy:

    A Broader View Volunteers
    Various projects; credit determined based on project duration

    1.    Credit Will Not Be Given for: 
    A.    Paid work of any kind.
    B.    Internships (paid or unpaid).
    C.   Attending conferences or programs for the student's own learning or enrichment (e.g. leadership programs).
    D.  Any political activity including service on a political campaign, for a political party, in the office of an elected official, or for any organization (including many 501c4 organizations) whose purpose is to promote a political agenda. “Service is never ideological, for we do not serve ideas, we serve people (Pope Francis)."
    E.    Service at any for-profit business - including family businesses - even if that service was unpaid.  (See below: SINGLE EXCEPTION TO THE NON-PROFIT GUIDELINE: CERTAIN HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS).
    F.    Service to any person(s) independent of a non-profit organization (e.g. mowing the lawn for a neighbor, helping a sick relative).
    G.   Unserved hours (e.g. "doubled" hours):  one hour of credit is given for one hour served.
    H.   Donations (such as money, goods, blood) to any organization.
    I.      Participation in extracurricular activities, including but not limited to attending meetings and practices and/or participating in performances and/or competitions.
    J.     Service for which the student receives academic credit (e.g. service as guidance department assistants).
    K.     Service to a CCHS team, program, or student organization if the student is eligible for a varsity or sub-varsity letter as a member of that team/program/organization (e.g. student managers of team sports).  
    L.    Service to any organization whose practices are contrary to the values of the Catholic Church, including:  
                    i.  UNICEF
                    ii.  Planned Parenthood
                    iii.  Amnesty International
                    iv.  Crop Walk/World Church Service 
                     v.  March of Dimes
                     vi.  Susan G. Komen for the Cure 
                     vii.  For more information about the exclusion of these organizations on the basis of a conflict with Catholic values and teachings, click here.       

    2.    Examples of For-Profit Organizations
    The following are recent examples of organizations where CCHS students considered volunteering.  It was determined that each is a for-profit entity and not eligible for CCHS service hours credit:  
    A.  American Heritage School
    B.  Assurant Satellite Learning Center
    C.  Camp Rejoice (located at - but not conducted by - St. John Neumann Parish)
    D.  Camp Discover (located at - but not conducted by - Doral Park)
    E.  Conchita Espinosa Academy
    F.  Children's Paradise Learning Center
    G.  Diamond Degree (Baseball Academy)
    H.  Highpoint Academy
    I.   Learning Tree of Arts
    J.   Miami Marathon (Life Time Fitness, Inc.)
    K.  Miami Shores Montessori School
    L.  N.Y.V. Summer Camp (located at - but not conducted by - St. Dominic Catholic Church)
    M.  Riviera Day Camp 
    N.  Thunder Athletics
    O.  Zoological Wildlife Foundation

    3.    When in Doubt:
    Before performing hours of service at any organization, students can consult Brother Tom Long (, CCHS Christian Service Coordinator, to confirm that Columbus will give credit for service at that organization.

    1.    Service with certain for-profit healthcare organizations may be eligible for CCHS service- hours credit.
    2.    This exception applies only to the following organizations:
    A.    Hospitals
    B.    Rehabilitation Hospitals
    C.   Nursing Homes
    D.   Assisted Living Facilities
    E.    Hospice Organizations
    3.    This exception applies only to hours of direct, face to face service to patients such as:
    A.    Visiting with patients
    B.    Praying with patients
    C.   Entertaining patients
    D.   Transporting patients in wheelchairs
    E.    Providing recreation to patients (singing, games, etc.)
    F.    Reading to patients
    G.   Assisting patients with eating, walking, hygiene, and dressing.
      4.    Examples of service at a for-profit healthcare provider that is NOT ELIGIBLE FOR CREDIT:
        A.    Clerical tasks
        B.    Filing
        C.   Data-entry
        D.   Answering phones
        E.    Receptionist
        F.    Admissions
        G.   Computer operations
        H.   Website design or maintenance
        I.      Janitorial tasks.
        5.    Service at private and group medical, dental and physical therapy practices is not eligible under this exception.

        1.    To Receive Credit:
        A.    Qualified service hours must be properly documented.
        B.    Documents must be submitted according to procedure.
        C.   Documents must be submitted on-time according to published deadlines.
        2.    Proper Documentation
        A.    Students must use the CCHS forms for documenting their service which are available on this webpage under Downloadable Service Forms:

                        i.  Service Hours Standard Document: Used in most cases.
                        ii.  Service Hours Standard Document Addendum:  Used with the Service Hours Standard Document if more than 4 days were served in the same month for the same organization.
                        iii.  Other forms that can be used for service performed with specific student organizations are also available on this webpage.
        B.    CCHS no longer accepts documents created by the organizations with which students serve as these usually do not contain all the information required by CCHS.
        C.   Documents must be completely filled out and must list separate entries for each date on which service is performed including the start time and stop time on each date.
        D.   To ensure the accuracy and integrity of the information, documents will not be accepted that contain cross-outs, mark-overs, white-outs, or other evidence of editing.
        E.    The student should make a copy of every service document he submits for credit - and retain these copies in his personal possession until after graduation.  This is for the student's protection.
        3.    Procedure for Submitting Documents

        A.    Documents should be submitted: 
                i.  In paper form
                        ii.  By the student -  in person
               iii.  To the Christian Service Office (Brother Tom Long).  The Christian Service office is located in the B Building - 1st Floor - 87th Ave side.

        B.    If Brother Tom is not in his office, service documents may be left in the drop-box to the left of his office door.

        C.   If there is a problem with a document, the student will be notified by CCHS email.
                       i.  It is the responsibility of the student to read that email and follow any instructions it contains. 
              ii.  Failure to do so will result in no service-hours credit for that document.
        D.    Under no circumstances should documents be left anywhere else or with anyone else.  This is for the student's protection.
        E.   Documents may not be submitted electronically (e.g. by email attachment).
        F.    No third party (including parents) should attempt to submit documents on behalf of the student.
        G.   Do not attempt to submit documentation during the summer.  Documentation of service hours performed during the summer should be submitted after school resumes and before September 30.

        4.    Deadlines for Submitting Documents:
        If Service Is Performed Any            Documentation for that Service 
        Time During the Month Of: 
                     Is Due On:
        September                                         October 31
        October                                             November 30
        November                                          Date we return from Christmas break
        December                                          January 31
        January                                             February 28
        February                                            March 31
        March                                                April 30
        April                                                  May 31
        May-June-July-August                         September 30

        5.    Late Penalty:  Documents submitted past deadlines may be subject to a forfeiture of ½ credit.

        6.    Verification of Documented Service Hours
        A.    Without notice to the student, CCHS may seek to verify the information contained in service-hours documents.
        B.    If for any reason (including inaccurate contact information contained in the document) the school is not able to verify this information, the student will not receive credit for the relevant hours. 

        Student Integrity
        The student is responsible for the truth and accuracy of the information contained in the documents he submits.  Submitting false information may result in disciplinary action by the school.

        To be eligible for credit, service must be performed on behalf of a non-profit organization (with the exception of certain health-care organizations as described below).  

        Note: Non-profit status can only be conferred by state and/or federal government.  

        CCHS will recognize the non-profit status of any organization that has been granted either:
        • Florida Non-Profit Corporation status by the Florida Department of Corporations.
        • 501c3 status by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
        Online Tool For Checking Florida Non-Profit Corporation Status
        Students can check to see if an organization is recognized as a Florida Non-Profit Corporation by using the handy online search tool provided by the Florida Department of Corporations.

        If an organization is a Florida Non-Profit, that label will appear at the top of the search result.

        Checking 501c3 Status
        Students can check 501c3 status of an organization by calling the IRS toll-free at: 1-877-829-5500 

        Need Help?
        Any student who needs help determining the Non-Profit status of an organization should ask Brother Tom - in person or by email.
        Read More

        At any time, students and parents may request a summary of the student's service hours record (number of hours served and documented; balance of hours required). 

        Requests should be made by email to Br. Tom:
        • Students: Should email this request from their CCHS email account only.  
        • Parents: Should please be sure to include their son's full name and CCHS ID in the request.


      List of 1 members.

      • Photo of Br. Tom Long

        Br. Tom Long 

        Christian Service Coordinator/Campus Ministry/Virtus Coordinator
        ext. 2251


      Class of 2020: April 24, 2020
      • Service documents submitted after this date may not be processed in time to ensure that the student is cleared for graduation.
      • To receive full credit, students must submit documentation according to the monthly deadlines (see “Getting Credit for Qualified Service Hours,” No. 4).  
      Christopher Columbus High School | 3000 SW 87 Avenue | Miami, FL 33165 | (305) 223-5650
      Christopher Columbus High School is a private, Roman Catholic, college-preparatory high school, conducted by the Marist Brothers of the Schools. We aim to make Jesus Christ known and loved, as we prepare young men for higher education and for their continuous challenge of harmonizing faith, culture and life. We foster a family spirit among all who are committed to the success of the school and promote opportunities to work together as a community of learners. 

      Columbus is fully accredited by AdvancEd and a member of the National Catholic Educational Association.