Community Service

At Commonwealth School we believe our students have a social responsibility. Our aim is to help students realize they can make a difference and give them the tools to do it, gaining practical experience along the way.

Service at Commonwealth

Commonwealth students must meet community service requirements to graduate. This usually entails completing twenty to forty hours of service over their high school career, depending on when they matriculated; however, we have adjusted and will continue to adapt our community service requirements as long as we remain in a pandemic state.

We encourage early engagement with community service—as early as first semester of freshman year—so students can become familiar with this work and discover its joys. As a result, many students continue to volunteer well beyond their community service requirement, locally or globally, quietly or publicly, and thrive. 

Our Community Service Coordinator, Rui Shu, guides students in exploring their community service options and meeting their goals, while a student-led group, Commonwealth Cares, offers a variety of opportunities throughout the year in which everyone is encouraged to participate.

Please contact Community Service Coordinator Rui Shu with any questions.

Why Volunteer in High School?

  • To better our communities and the lives of those around us
  • To gain a new perspective
  • To inspire others
  • To work on a team toward a common goal
  • To focus on others
  • To connect with those who might enrich our lives
  • To have fun and bond with classmates 


If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? 

Hillel the Elder


Where Our Students Volunteer

In addition to our annual supermarket drive, blood drive, winter walk, and other community service opportunities, Commonwealth students can be found at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, including the following:

  • Community Servings actively engages the community to provide medically tailored, nutritious, from-scratch meals to chronically and critically ill individuals and their families. Students help with meal-prep and kitchen cleaning.
  • St. Stephen's Youth promotes equity in education, employment, and opportunity through long-term relationships with young people and their families and communities. Students socialize with kids, help with homework, and play.
  • Ruggles Assisted Living is one of the few affordable intermediaries between independent living and nursing homes in Boston. Students socialize with the residents and help with house/garden work.
  • Hale House is a residential care facility for seniors, providing exceptional residential and supportive services for a diverse older population. Students play music for and interact with the residents.
  • Community CPR is a student-run training program. Students learn CPR instruction and then train other high school students across the city.
  • World Computer Exchange ships refurbished computers preloaded with educational content pack to schools, libraries, and community centers in developing countries. Students refurbish computers.
  • Cradles to Crayons collects, processes, packages, and ships donations of children's items to a network of diverse service partners. Students sort and package items.