As a graduation requirement, UC Academy High School are required to turn in 10 hours of community service per semester that they attend Upland Christian Academy. This will accumulate to 20 hours a year and 80 hours over their high school career. Part of our mission is to equip our students to impact their community for Jesus Christ. We want to train leaders who have a heart for reaching out to others and making their world a better place. We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus. While each student is free to serve in areas that appeal to them, we also have a community service coordinator on our ASB council who helps plan several school wide service events each year.
Typical events include adopting the Christmas wish lists of foster children, a community blood drive for the Red Cross, a beach cleanup day, collecting shoeboxes of gifts for Operation Christmas Child, and working in food banks. On our annual choir tour, the group always includes singing to and working at different service organizations along the route, such as homes for mentally disabled adults, orphanages, and shelters. We usually adopt a missions organization to support through our chapel offerings.
We believe that these service experiences help broaden the cultural awareness of our students and cultivate a heart for service and change that will last a lifetime. Whenever we take our students off campus people comment on what a blessing it is to meet teens who so visibly demonstrate a real love for others. Our goal is not to hide our students and protect them from the world, but rather to equip them to be light in a world of darkness.