Christopher Columbus High School

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

Service Learning

Why We Serve

As a Catholic school, in the Marist tradition, the objective of the Service-Learning program is to help form good and virtuous citizens for our community, society and the greater world by combining academic study, civil engagement and practical experience. By utilizing this method of experiential learning, we help to educate the young men at Christopher Columbus High School to recognize the needs and injustices found within and outside our local community. Through personal reflection, planning and concrete actions, our students help those who have been marginalized by society and help restore a sense of dignity to all of God’s people.

At Christopher Columbus High School, the goal of the Service-Learning Program is three-fold: first, to deepen the culture of Christian service by allowing students to connect, through personal experience, to the tenements of Catholic Social Teaching; second, to instill within all members of the school community a commitment to life-long service and care for others who are on the margins of life. Lastly, through the collaboration of the Service-Learning Program with other academic disciplines, clubs and athletic teams, to instill the cycle of learning, acting and reflecting, along with a firm commitment to both charity and justice, which will become part of the moral character of all Columbus students, no matter where he goes in life or what career path he chooses to follow.

Marist Marks

Consequently, the Service-Learning program, will allow students to gain a deeper insight and understanding of the five key areas that are the hallmark of all Marist students throughout the United States. These key areas, known as the Marks of a Marist Student are:
  1. Faith-filled Disciples: Marist students come to possess a strong sense of God and a personal relationship with Jesus, Mary and Saint Marcellin fostered through religious formation, a sacramental life, and prayer.
  2. Empowered Witnesses: Marist students, recognizing Mary as their model and companion, become joyful witnesses to God’s love in their lives, enabling them to see Christ in others, to live simply, morally and with integrity, respecting all of life and creation.
  3. Agents of Justice and Service: Marist students grow in their understanding of Catholic social teaching and stand in compassionate solidarity with the least favored.
  4. Servant Leaders: Marist students recognize that they are lovingly created by God with unique gifts and talents which, through their Baptism, they are called to develop and share with the Church and the wider community.
  5. Spirit-filled Members of Family & Community: Marist students embody a spirit which celebrates and welcomes all.

List of 8 items.


    Service learning is a form of experiential education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection, as students seek to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding and skills for themselves. In this process, students link personal and social development with academic and cognitive development. Experience enhances understanding, understanding leads to more effective action.

    The emphasis of the school’s Service-Learning Program is on community—actively responding to the identified needs of the community. As a school, we understand that observing the needs of our community, utilizing our faith to make moral judgments, and putting it into action allows us to learn about God, ourselves, and our world. This knowledge and self-awareness helps us to commit ourselves to being Christ’s presence in our world, working toward a more just and peaceful society.

    There are many proven benefits of adding service learning to the curriculum. Research has shown that around 80% of students who participated in a service-learning project found the experience “highly beneficial.” Furthermore, a service-learning program can:
    • Help students make connections between different academic subjects by using an interdisciplinary teaching approach.
    • Encourage students to positively contribute to their communities, while also aligning to class curriculum.
    • Allow for a hands-on learning experience.
    • Improve academic outcomes, attendance rates and class engagement.
    • Promote mutual respect and kindness.
    • Boost levels of self-esteem, empathy, and responsibility.
    • Increase awareness of community needs and local or global issues.
    • Reduce the risk of behavioral problems in the classroom.
    • Strengthen classroom communication.
  • Requirements of the Service-Learning Program

    All service hours are to be offered for those who are in need or in vulnerable situations. In addition, all service hours must be done through a non-profit organization [501(c)(3)]. 
    Persons in a community in need include those associated with age, social, or economic background, physical, mental, learning, or emotional deprivation, or disabilities. Furthermore, students may serve the community by being good stewards of God’s creation through environmental initiatives and advocating for human rights and social justice issues.
  • What are Direct & Indirect Hours?

    As part of the service learning program students will be encouraged to step out of their comfort zone to help the poor and vulnerable of our community. Although these experiences may be challenging, they do change student's perception regarding social justice issues and injustices found within our society. Therefore, as a Catholic school in the Marist tradition, students must complete the majority of their service hours (80 hours) in “direct service” to those in need or in vulnerable situations through a non-profit organization, meaning that the student has direct contact with the people or community they are serving. Thus, highlighting what it means to be a Christian man in today’s society. The remaining 20 hours may be done through indirect service, meaning that the student may contribute through donation-based activities or activities within the school community.
    Examples of Direct Service: Missionaries of Charity Soup Kitchen; Camillus House, Lotus House, Shake-a-Leg, Miami Learning Experience School, Miami Rescue Mission, Special Olympics, Feeding South Florida, Blue Missions, Encuentro Project, Mid-Hudson Valley Camps, Environmental clean-up initiatives.
    Examples of Indirect Service: Donation based activities that do not bring the student in contact with the poor or vulnerable such as can food drives, clothing drives, gift baskets, etc.

    In addition, volunteering or assisting in school related activities such as open house, Scholastic Olympics, etc.
    Also, students may not submit hours for tutoring or service done through their respective Honor Society (Math, Science, English, History, Spanish, etc..) until they have fulfilled their requirement for that particular honor society or fulfilled their requirement for the National Honor Society.
    Students should always check the x2Vol account for school approved service opportunities.

    Students must complete a minimum of 100 service hours to graduate from Christopher Columbus High School. 
    The following timeline is recommended to ensure that students complete their service requirement in a timely manner:
    • Grades 9 and 10 - 20 hours per year
    • Grades 11 and 12 - 30 hours per year
    Students who have completed 300 or more hours of service to the community will receive honor cords recognizing their service and contribution to the community.

    The 100-hour Service-Learning requirement is prorated for students who transfer to CCHS from another state, after freshman year, is 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 uploaded to the x2VOL System by the student 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).
    If a student transfers to CCHS from another Florida school he is still responsible to complete the 100 service hours as part of the state requirements.

    1.    To Receive Credit:
    1. Qualified service hours must be properly documented.
    2. Documents must be submitted according to procedure using the x2VOL system.
    3. Hours must be logged on-time according to published deadlines.
    4. Hours must be done through a 501(c)(3) organization. 
    5. All personal and Mas Service projects must receive prior approval by the Director of Service Learning.
    2.    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.
    • 501(c)(3) 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 Br. Al (his office is behind the LBC in front of the nurse's office) or Mr. Levy by email.


List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Brother Albert Rivera

    Brother Albert Rivera 

    Director of Service Learning
    ext. 2249

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 God’s creation."
-In the Footsteps of Marcellin
Champagnat: A Vision for Marist Education Today. #82
Students are expected to login to their x2VOL account in order to find available service opportunities, enter earned service hours for approval and monitor their progress.

Please click on the video links below for detailed instruction on the x2VOL system. 

For instructions on how to create and account with x2VOL:


Service-Learning Events: Students are informed of different service-learning opportunities that allows them to serve the community together.
Christopher Columbus High School | 3000 SW 87 Avenue | Miami, FL 33165 | (305) 223-5650
Brotherhood, Faith, and Scholarship define the Marist Brothers Catholic education at Christopher Columbus High School.  By making Jesus Christ known and loved and creating an inspiring academic and extracurricular environment, we prepare young men for higher learning and a life-long commitment to leadership and service through Gospel and Marist values.

Columbus is fully accredited by Cognia and is a member of the Marist Association of Secondary schools, the National Catholic Education Association and the Independent Schools of South Florida.