The Lance

Students go above and beyond: The Meritorious Service Award

by Marissa de La Viez

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Every year, a large number of high school students fill out college applications in hope of admittance to the school of their dreams. Community service plays a larger role than most students might think, and the Meritorious Service Award could put you over the top.

Last year, the only LHS recipient of the Meritorious Service Award was senior Joe Schiller. Schiller received this award for being a member of the Buddy Program and for his outstanding amount of community service.

According to a 2011 study on, “70% of admissions officers prefer students to be consistently involved with one issue over a variety of causes.”

High school students are often looking for community service opportunities, whether it is for graduation or recognition by this award.

To become eligible for this award, a student must design a project of their own and complete 75 hours or more of community service that is recorded and turned into the school’s coordinator, in this case Mr. Jeremy Brown.

Service forms can be found outside of the Student Services office.

Where can one find service opportunities?

“Students just have to pay attention. We hang things up on the bulletin board, but sometimes it’s just things you hear about. Sometimes it’s just volunteering at their church youth group or for a sports team. There’s no way of finding out about a meritorious service because you’re the one creating it,” said Student Service Director Jeremy Brown.

“The form involves pre-approval, an explanation of the project, a record of their hours, and a reflection piece. That’s what’s submitted to me,” said Brown.

Junior Corbin Austin is hoping to receive the award this year. During the summer, Austin was one of the main creators of the Teens 4 Tarte fundraiser that raised money for Darrell Tarte through the Patty Pollatos Fund. He completed a total of 81 service hours.

Schiller was also a part of the Teens 4 Tarte fundraiser.  A group of Linganore students joined together to create an event to raise money for Darrell Tarte, who is a victim of multiple sclerosis and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A lot of the teens know Tarte personally, so this was different from other service projects. On August 3rd Teens 4 Tarte hosted a carwash and volleyball festival.

Schiller was one of the main coordinators for the carwash and Austin was the leader of the entire project. At the end of the day, nearly $6,000 was raised to help pay for Tarte’s medical expenses.

“I have been doing a lot during the summer and I already have a fundraiser planned for next summer,” said Austin

However, these students don’t just do it for the recognition.

“I think it’s important for people to do community service because after doing it, you realize that there are people in our area that need help. It always is a great feeling doing what you can for them. You feel very accomplished after putting in all the hard work,” Schiller said.


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Students go above and beyond: The Meritorious Service Award