Student Service Above Self Program

Sponsored by Columbus Rotary in partnership with Columbus City Schools

Every year, hundreds of students in all Columbus City Schools’ middle and high schools devote thousands of hours to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
“Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” Shirley Chisholm.
Through their community service and civic engagement, students build important values, attitudes, and skills.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Gandhi.
The Student Service Above Self Program was created in 2003 by Columbus Rotary to:
  • Assist CCS in fulfilling its mission: Each student is highly-educated, prepared for leadership and service, and empowered for success as a citizen in a global community.
  • Exemplify Rotary’s motto: Service Above Self.
  • Enhance the quality of life through student-led community service projects that impact students, schools, families, Columbus communities, and beyond.
  • Reinforce community service and civic engagement as opportunities for students to learn and/or refine vital skills for career and college success including: leadership, goal setting, collaboration, critical thinking, communications, creativity,  planning, organization, teamwork, verbal and written communication, marketing, measuring results, handling anticipated and unanticipated challenges, empathy, advocacy, perseverance, and more.
  • Recognize participating students at the annual Middle and High School Fairs.
Organized to:
  • Assist student teams from every CCS high school (21) and middle school (26), faculty advisors, and community partners as they conduct student-led service activities that maximize the impact of students’ time, talents, and energy.
  • Promote and reinforce the link between students’ classroom learning and community service activities.
  • Recognize and honor participating students and their community service projects at the annual High School and Middle School Service Above Self Fairs attended by 600+ CCS students, CCS staff, Rotarians, and other community leaders. And, activate other recognition venues throughout the year.
  • Use Student Service Above Self Program activities and visibility to inspire other students and highlight the values of service, civic engagement, and leadership.

Student Service Above Self Program -- In The News

Project Operations

  • Oversight – provided by Columbus Rotary’s Board and Student Service Above Self Program Committee along with CCS-designated administrators.
  • On-going operations – conducted by the Program Coordinator who is selected by Columbus Rotary, reports to the Rotary Board and Program Committee and collaborates regularly with CCS.
  • Funding and in-kind support – provided by the Program sponsors and corporate supporters.

Opportunities to Support the Student Service Above Self Program

  • Community Organizations. The Student Service Above Self Program encourages partnerships between student project teams and community organizations. These partnerships strengthen student learning and skill building as well as the impact of the students’ work.
  • Businesses and Individuals. Businesses of all kinds/sizes and concerned individuals are invited to provide funding to support overall Project operations.

Timelines & Participation Requirements

See the High School Information and Middle School Information pages.

High School and Middle School Fair Overviews


Special Thanks to Our Current Financial Supporters:


J. Luke McCormick

American Electric Power

Fifth Third Bank

Charles Harris, CPA

Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Associated Bank

DHDC Engineering Consulting Services


For Additional Information

Contact: Rick Studer, Program Coordinator or 614-915-8149