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Upper School

Courage, integrity and compassion converge powerfully on the upper school campus, where students learn to apply the servant leadership skills they have been honing since their earliest lower school years. All freshmen participate in Make a Difference Day, a daylong course in community volunteerism. Students break into groups and spend the morning working at one of more than a dozen nonprofit agencies in Northeast Florida. In the afternoon, students hear testimonials on the importance of service from senior peers or alumni who have garnered huge life takeaways from their servant leadership experiences. 

In the first few weeks of school, upper school students are encouraged to attend Club Day – where more than 60 student clubs and activity groups are represented. Once they have aligned with clubs or initiatives, students spend the rest of the year in meetings, volunteering and fundraising for their causes. One of the biggest annual events is the Halloween Carnival; an event that seasonally entertains low-income students from a nearby community. More than 100 students representing the school’s clubs set up booths and receive guests with joy and compassion.

As they progress through upper school, students learn about club leadership and management. These interests may change as they progress through their upper school careers. But community service work always maintains prominence in the lives of upper school students. Unlike any other time in their education, an unprecedented number of students take the initiative to support charitable work that is important to them personally.

In upper school, students also broaden their sense of community service – and learn how they can use their talents and interests to support the community. Visual art students, for example, frequently exhibit their work in Art Walk events in support of art in Northeast Florida. Art students have also enjoyed opportunities to participate in public art projects and murals. Bolles choral students perform in community events and sing each year in the popular “Candlelight Christmas” performance at Disney World. Some share their work on local stages – others have lent their voices to singing the National Anthem at fundraisers or citizenship ceremonies. That passion also extends to global community service opportunities. Each year, upper school students may sign up for a community service trip during Spring Break – which has taken Bolles students to charitable work from Costa Rica to the Florida Keys. And because Bolles is a community of students from all over the world, many community service projects and trips serve special friends, families and communities around the globe. Like their middle school peers, students who take The Bolles Way to its highest level are rewarded with President’s List medallions.
Flourishing, Thriving, Serving Others
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