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Shanese Randall, 18, arrived early to help set-up the welcome treats in the cafeteria of Our Lady of the Angels' food pantry on the West Side.
As part of the school's Students in Action Leadership Team, she helped plan and promote the Family Service Day event on May 12, which was well-attended by underclassmen. She was the only graduating senior to show up and she did so primarily to help Daniel Zundel, the school's Christian Service co-chair, who's known by the kids as "Mr. Z." Randall has already accumulated more than enough service hours to graduate.
As part of the requirements to advance from grade to grade, all CTK students must complete service hours starting with 15 hours per year for freshmen with increasing increments of five toward attaining 30 total by the time they're seniors.
Students can serve in any number of ways: in their churches, their communities, their homes. Each act of service and the hours acquired is tracked on forms the students complete and enter into a database.
Once a year, CTK offers an opportunity for it students and their families to give back to the community through its Family Service Day.
Randall, who plans to attend Pace University in New York City as biology major, has served breakfast to homeless Austinites, packaged food for the St. Columbanus food pantry, and acted as a hostess for the annual Breakfast with Santa event.
At the Our Lady of the Angels, Randall, along with LaRhonda Griffin and her son, LaShawn, 15, busily bagged canned goods while residents waited for the gates to open. Griffin, who lives around the corner from Our Lady, said she came to help her son earn his hours.
"I like it because it gives them the sense of helping others that are in need," she said.