Beyond The Latin

While the opportunities at Andover may seem endlessly abundant in the mix of academics, sports, clubs and other extracurricular offerings, our community service program should not be overlooked. Personally, I had never really understood the concept of community service until coming to Andover. My elementary and middle schools lacked any sort of involvement in service. My family tried to fill this void with a few small endeavors throughout my childhood, but I never really came to understand the significance of our actions. One of my first memories of Andover was at an event for newly admitted students. An admissions officer asked the crowd, “What does our school motto, non sibi, mean?” The room remained silent. She tried again, “Are there any Latin scholars here?” Finally, someone’s father raised his hand. “I believe it means ‘not for oneself,’” he said. Yet we do not have to be Latin scholars to understand what non sibi truly means. After attending a conference for service-learning and community service at Exeter this past weekend, my perspective of the community service program at Andover was dramatically altered. Prior to the conference, I had come to take our community service offerings for granted. The extensive programs really did not mean much to me; I had always been under the impression that most other schools had similar options. I quickly learned that this was not the case. Although a few schools did share some comprehensive offerings that were comparable to ours, many were in the process of developing their own fledgling programs. Overall, Andover’s offerings stood out among all the others in areas such as community involvement, support and sophistication. With the tremendous resources we have at our disposal, it would be regrettable if students were to disregard our community service offerings. Make an effort and ask a friend about what he or she may do in our community. This is, certainly, one opportunity you do not want to miss. Celia Lewis is a two-year Lower.