Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy
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Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy: Nurturing tomorrow’s leaders through service and experiential learning

In a time when service and empathy are more important than ever, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (CHCA) is equipping its students to become future change-makers and leaders. Here, children can do and be more than they ever imagined. In other words, they’re holding the tools and leveraging the support they need to thrive academically, socially, and spiritually.

At CHCA, students consider, discover, test, fail, and thrive, all while under the counsel of Christian teachers and through many hands-on opportunities. As students engage and grow cognitively, spiritually, and socially, they are ultimately prepared to flourish in college and beyond.

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

From helping the needy to saving the environment, service learning opportunities are plenty and diverse at CHCA. Source: Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

Dean Nicholas, PhD, Head of School at CHCA, articulates this vision as such: “Our changing world needs leaders who are passionate critical thinkers, problem solvers, and innovators. Our Upper School is creating an environment to raise young women and men who will engage the world and shape the future. We are excited about what the future holds. We are excited for what our students will do.”

From helping the needy to saving the environment, service learning opportunities are plenty and diverse at CHCA. Source: Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

Student Organised Service

The heartbeat of CHCA lies in providing opportunities to serve others — and its Student Organised Service (SOS) programme exemplifies this mission. Through SOS, CHCA students realise their purpose of learning through community service. Each student is required to complete 120 service hours to graduate; most do more. The Class of 2023 racked up over 27,000 hours, which averaged 228 per graduate. Most classes average around 200 per student.

However, it’s not just about accumulating service hours; SOS is about inspiring and empowering the next generation to make a real difference in their communities and beyond.

These young social entrepreneurs seek out authentic service experiences. They recognise and share their unique gifts and talents, learning from diverse cultures and people within their community. In the process, they develop a Christ-centred worldview that bolsters them to tackle real-world problems and make a lasting impact.

As young leaders, they also develop and engage in high-level problem-solving, identifying pressing needs in the world and considering how they can be a part of the solution. They don’t just stop at serving; they become advocates, inspiring others to join their cause and creating a ripple effect of change. The impact they have on their community is tangible and transformative.

And this impact goes beyond campus grounds and its immediate surroundings. Through SOS, students open their eyes to the needs of humanity in local, national, and international communities. Driven by faith, leadership, and initiative, SOS Student Leaders coordinate community engagement opportunities with over 30 groups. These include fundraising for cancer research to leading after-school programmes for underserved children,

What makes the SOS programme exceptional is its emphasis on empowering students to use their unique strengths for the benefit of many. These CHCA students tutor underprivileged children, visit the elderly, combat food deserts, build bridges through community outreach, and address homelessness — among many other examples. They’re not just passive participants but agents of change, actively contributing to their community’s betterment.

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

Through Intersession, students have an intensive opportunity to learn, grow, and share in the real world. Source: Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

The dedication of these students does not go unnoticed — they have received several awards, including the Presidential Service Award, Prudential Spirit of the Community Award, Innerview Impact Award Programme, Senior Service Awards, and ServeOhio Community Impact Award.

Intersession programme

CHCA’s commitment to experiential learning extends far beyond Ohio. The Intersession programme allows students to immerse themselves in diverse experiences, from studying Roman history in the Colosseum to playing percussion in Kenya or exploring Alaskan wildlife. These experiences aren’t merely sightseeing; they’re life-changing opportunities for personal growth and understanding.

Through the Intersession programme, students can choose from a wide range of experiences, including travelling and serving abroad, learning about different cultures, lending a hand to neighbours in Cincinnati, and acquiring new skills in the arts, sciences, and technology. CHCA’s Intersession is not optional; it is a graduation requirement, underlining the significance of experiential learning in their college-preparatory curriculum.

CHCA students have participated in over 350 Intersession courses and trips for nearly two decades, broadening their horizons and redefining their understanding of the world. These experiences teach students to raise funds, conquer fears, and develop a genuine sense of purpose.

“After this experience, I will remember that many people right here in Cincinnati need our help, including the youngest of kids, and there are many ways we can fulfil those needs,” shares one Upper School student.

As CHCA prepares its students for college and a changing world, the SOS programme and Intersession experiences are integral to their educational approach. Students graduate from CHCA not only with diplomas but also with a profound sense of responsibility, compassion, and the tools to effect meaningful change in the world.

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