Service Learning

The service program at St. Mary’s Academy is a core component of our values-based education across all grades and divisions. Service provides students an opportunity to begin fulfilling the commitment to love, to learn from those they serve, and to discover their ability to make a difference.

In the Lower School, service learning is achieved through collection drives, assemblies, nonprofits adopted by grade levels, and whole-school challenges. In the Middle School, Community Action Teams perform work in the community throughout the year. The High School sponsors an outreach club and a service day, and every single St. Mary’s Academy High School student performs 100 hours of independent long-term service with one of 120 nonprofit organizations before graduation. 

benefits of service learning include:

  • Service learning work has been found to develop stronger social-emotional skills in students and raises the image of youth in the community, who perform much needed work for local organizations.
  • According to, the most effective service learning is thoughtfully organized, is integrated into the curriculum, and provides time for reflection.
  • Civic learning and democratic engagement in local and global contexts prepare students for meaningful work as leaders and change makers in the 21st Century.


SMA's Tradition of Service

During World War I, the St. Mary’s Academy Alumnae Auxiliary formed a Red Cross Unit and work was begun at once by the sisters, the alumnae, and the girls in the school to make hospital garments and bandages, and to knit scarves, blankets, and socks for hospitalized soldiers.  The senior class gave a benefit dance and raised $100 for the War Work Fund... 

Read the full blog, by Regina Drey, SL & Director of Loretto Projects, on the traditions of service work at SMA HERE.

We love the St. Mary’s students ...They’re self-directed, they’re motivated, and because you instill in them a sense of service, they deliver for us.

- Eileen Robinson, Volunteer Coordinator Clothes for Kids Denver where last year, 31 St. Mary’s Academy students performed 730 hours of service. 


Service Experiences by Division

2020 HS graduate, Brynn McCall, shares the importance of stories to connect with humanity in her cinematic senior service reflection video.


SMA student, Charlie Wood, reflects on the purpose of Community Action Team service at the St. Mary's Academy Middle School.


Greta Heitman '20, reflects on her four-year experience with the staff and clients at the Samaritan House.


 Rishika Kartik '22, is recognized for her service with the vision impaired  and activism work.



High School students volunteer with over 130 different organizations every year.



Total service hours 2018 - 2020


High School service trips available


hours of service required for graduation

Service Learning Team

Amber Summers
High School Director of Service Learning,  Humanities Teacher

Christina Garcia 
Director of Loretto Projects and Community Engagement, Middle School Spanish and Religion Teacher.