The Capstone Service Project is the culmination or “capstone” of students’ service and social justice activities at McQuaid Jesuit.
*COVID-19 Capstone Update* – With concerns about COVID-19 currently impacting most aspects of life and school, the Capstone is still a requirement for the class of 2021 but should only be undertaken while following CDC guidelines for safety. This includes wearing a mask, constantly washing your hands, and social distancing. This will impact the nature of the Capstone and requirements around in-person service will be loosened. Students are able to complete their project through virtual service or fundraising events with limited interaction with other people.
These requirements hold fast during the 2020-2021 school year.
Students may begin their Capstone Project the week following their final exam of Junior Year. They must complete their project by the Friday before graduation. The Capstone Project must be pre-approved by the Director of Service and Justice and must be a substantial, standalone project with at least 25 hours of volunteer work focused on serving the poor, marginalized, or under served. Any hours a student accumulates for a project that has not been pre-approved will not be allowed to count towards that project. The project will preferably include direct contact with the population to be served, as kinship with the marginalized is an important part of Christian service. Examples include:
- Any service immersion experiences that take place preceding a student’s senior year
- Working with a recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit to create a standalone project beneficial to the organization. This can be as simple as a consistent volunteer commitment over 25 hours to said organization or as much as coordinating a fundraiser or in-school educational initiative on the issue or topic addressed.
- Students are not limited to nonprofits as students can create and implement their own program for a marginalized population as long as a need exists and they have a well-thought-out plan to address that need
As stated above, the Capstone Service Project should include direct contact with the population to be served. If a student desires to work on a project that might not include much direct contact (such as a fundraising project) but still meets a legitimate need of a nonprofit organization that project should be discussed with the Director of Service and Justice. A post-Project interview or written reflection with Campus Ministry is part of the Capstone Project.
Types of projects that could fulfill the Capstone: serving the poor, the homeless, refugees, working with individuals with disabilities, raising awareness about climate change or climate justice.
To access the Capstone Project Proposal Form please click the below link:
All proposal forms should be submitted to Mr. Verghese SJ (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Mission and Ministry. Also please be aware that you do have to submit the hours you serve for your Capstone on MobileServe. There is a specific category you should submit those hours under – “Senior Capstone Hours.”
If you are struggling to figure out a potential Capstone Service Project please check out the list of options below. The options below are approved projects but you still must speak to the adult or teacher who moderates that project, get their permission to use it for your Capstone, and submit a proposal form. You can also consult the list of local nonprofits under ‘Local Service Opportunities’ on the Christian Service page.
The St. Michael’s Woodshop is a ministry that serves teens in the City of Rochester by teaching life and character skills through woodworking. McQuaid students have the opportunity to participate in this ministry by assisting Rochester teens through tutoring and building relationships of mutuality.
Please follow this link for the full description of the St. Michael’s Woodshop Capstone Project.
You don’t have to be a baller to be a Baller!
Founded by Riley Benner, ’16, the McQuaid Ballers is an innovative service program that has its roots in working to reduce the recidivism rate within the New York State Juvenile Detention system. The original goal of working with juveniles in detention was to assure that once a child left a correctional institution they would not reenter the system. Today, McQuaid Ballers partners with Hillside Family of Agencies here in Rochester but the goal of mentoring at-risk youth to help them stay out of the criminal justice system is still the same. To achieve this goal, McQuaid Jesuit students commit to mentor juveniles on a weekly basis. Mentoring includes “balling” with the residents, sharing a meal, developing positive relationships, and discussing healthy life choices.
Please talk to Mr. Brady (email@example.com) if you have questions about how to participate in the Ballers program for your Capstone.
Every Sunday Monroe Community Hospital holds a Catholic Mass for its residents. Many people staying at the hospital are wheelchair bound or do not have the best mobility and require help in getting down to Mass from their rooms. Volunteers are needed to help escort people down to Mass and to provide a smiling face and pleasant conversation. This Capstone project requires students to be consistent in their commitment and fully present to the sick and elderly people they serve.
Please talk to Mrs. Stoll-Ewart (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to find out how to participate with the Monroe Community Hospital for your Capstone.
The Motherhouse is the center for Congregational Life and outreach for the Sisters of St. Joseph. It also serves as a home to many retired nuns and priests. Volunteers assist with everything from bingo set-up to going on walks with residents. The main service provided is being a caring presence to the retired nuns and priests at the Motherhouse. Students who wish to volunteer here for their Capstone should have a comfort and passion for working with the elderly and be able to make a long-term commitment (at least one semester or one full academic year). Volunteers would be scheduled a couple hours every week with this commitment stretching over several weeks. Interested students should contact Mrs. Martha Mortensen-Kolkmann at email@example.com to be considered.
Nativity Prep offers a tuition-free and values-based education to 5th through 8th grade students who were not well-served by the Rochester City School District and who come from economically disadvantaged families. One of things they do differently is offering daily, after-school enrichment activities. They are looking for students interested in working with children who would be able to help coach sports like soccer or basketball, moderate other enrichment activities, or creating and implementing a community service project to complete alongside the middle school students. Volunteer obligations would be only once or twice a week from 4:15pm-5:30pm or Saturday mornings. Nativity Prep is located only a couple miles away from McQuaid right off of Clinton Avenue. Please contact Ms. Meredith Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested.
Mary’s Place Refugee Outreach works in West Rochester providing for the day-to-day needs of newly resettled refugees. They assist people from ten different countries including Somalia, Myanmar, and Nepal to name a few. There are a couple options for completing a Capstone with Mary’s Place:
Throughout the year Mary’s Place needs weekly volunteers to assist with sorting donations, helping clients, and working their major parties and events. This service can be completed after school or on holidays on your own schedule.
Every summer they run a camp for the children of families they support. The camp starts in July and runs through August, volunteers are needed daily from 12pm-4pm. If taking this on as your Capstone you would not need to volunteer every day the camp is open and you can work with Mary’s Place to figure out what works best for your schedule. If interested please contact Mrs. Charlsey Bickett at Charlsey.Bickett@dor.org or Mr. Matthew Palocy at Matthew.Palocy@dor.org. This would obviously be for rising Seniors over the summer.
AutismUp works to support young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities along with their families by providing programming and supportive environments for growth. Through Fall, Winter, and Spring AutismUp runs a basketball program where they need volunteers to run drills and work one-on-one with an individual with a disability as they work on their skills and generally just have fun. The program is run for an hour on Saturdays in Webster. If interested in using this for your Capstone please consult with Mr. Verghese SJ in Mission and Ministry.
Our Catholic faith stresses that we must care for our common home and God’s creation, so work for the environment is particularly important especially during a time of climate change. There are several local organizations that focus on climate justice or grassroots work such as Taproot Collective or the Plastic Lakes Project.
McQuaid Jesuit’s Climate Club welcomes collaboration from upperclassmen. Contact Mr. Verghese SJ if interested.