This moment of honor from the Los Angeles Archdiocese recognized her extraordinary devotion to Christian service, more than 400 hours throughout her Mayfield high school career.
Every Mayfield student is required to perform 20 hours of community service each year—seniors have 45. Most students far exceed the requirement. But Andrea is in a class by herself with quadruple the number of required hours, time she said she “really enjoys.”
“I didn’t actually realize that I had logged in that many hours,” she said. “I got involved in volunteering because I think it’s important to help each out...and those I am helping are giving back to me just as much.”
The Archdiocesan Service Award is given to high school seniors from 51 Catholic high schools from Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, who have excelled in Christian service. The event was particularly special for Mayfield as the voices of our award-winning Women’s Ensemble choir soared through the Cathedral during Mass.
“We are so proud of Andrea and how she so lovingly exemplifies our Holy Child mission to help others see how God is alive in our world and an active presence in our lives,” said Head of School Kate Morin. “She truly embodies our ‘Actions Not Words’ motto.”
In his message to students, Archbishop José Gomez told honorees that it was fitting that their Mass and award ceremony took place on the Feast Day of St. Joseph.
“St. Joseph was a man of faith, a man who trusted in what God told him,” Archbishop Gomez said. “His whole life was a life of Christian service and he did everything to fulfill God’s plan...That is why we are here today. God is asking each one of us to do something special with our lives.”
Andrea began her high school service the summer before ninth grade volunteering at the Anderson Adventure Camp at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center. During the school year she has served at her home parish, St. Rita’s, as a Eucharistic minder and Confirmation retreat organizer. She has also earned her Girl Scout Gold Award. Andrea is a frequent volunteer at the St. Francis Center for the homeless in downtown Los Angeles and at the Los Angeles County Food Bank.
Last summer, Andrea served as a student counselor at the Cornelia Connelly Center in New York, our sister Holy Child School. She has also been active with Mayfield’s Campus Ministry for four years.
“Andrea is an example of a faith that renders joyful service to others. She speaks about how her service motivates her to be a better person and share her gifts,” said Campus Minister Teri Gonzales. “A true child of Cornelia Connelly, she has taken to heart her very words, ‘You must not hide the gifts God has given, but use them in His service.’ ”
Andrea said she finds it particularly rewarding to work with children and hopes to study medicine and become a pediatrician.
“I really enjoy service because it is so memorable...I’m not used to getting attention for my service or extracurriculars,” she said. “So I am extremely honored to have received this award.”