Service Learning

Service-learning is an educational approach that combines learning objectives with community service. We all are connected and have a role to play in making the world a better place. By serving others, we not only lift up the community but also nourish our own wholeness and well-being.

Eighth-grade students volunteer at El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission.

Two Types of Service

If we want to walk a path of serving others in ways that are sustained, meaningful, and transformational, we need to use two types of service — charitable works and social action — to address both short-term and long-term needs.

Charitable Works

Also known as "direct service," charitable works help meet immediate needs (e.g. donating canned goods to a local food bank). Opportunities for charitable works include face-to-face interactions and relationship-building with people, or even animals or the environment, who have immediate unmet needs.

Social Action

Social action focuses on root causes of problems facing our communities in Austin and around the world (e.g. championing public policies that alleviate food insecurity). Students learn about laws and policies that negatively affect vulnerable people in our community and long-term solutions to those problems.

Middle School students wrap gifts for children in foster care in partnership with Partnerships for Children's Holiday Wishes. 

What Do I Bring?

We encourage kids to start with themselves. What's my unique story? What do I care about? What gifts and resources do I have? We all have unique perspectives and talents that we can bring to the table, and we give students opportunties to explore what service means to them.

Core Curriculum

We weave ideas about service learning into the curriculum. For example, science classes discuss the damage cause by ocean pollution and potential solutions to this global problem.

Campus Projects

We encourage kids to take responsibility for their community, both directly (e.g. picking up trash in the creeks on campus) or indirectly (e.g. a bake sale to raise money and awareness for a cause).

Partner Organizations

We partner with organizations like Mobile Loaves & Fishes and El Buen Samaritano to give students opportunities to serve the Austin community and get out of their comfort zone.


Our eighth-grade capstone course tasks students to think like designers and entrepreneurs to solve a real-world problem. Projects can address business needs or societal problems.

Student Ambassadors

Ambassadors work with the Admission Team to help prospective families learn more about Trinity. They participate in Admission events, campus tours, and student shadow visits.


Shine is a subsidiary of Trinity that supports families from under-resourced communities in Austin, Texas, in order to boost student achievement. Students can serve as volunteers in the program.

A Middle School student volunteers at Shine, Trinity's summer partnership with Title 1 schools in the Austin community.

Graduate with Distinction

We honor graduates who have participated in a qualifying number of service hours with the designation of "Graduate with Distinction" on their diploma. However, the goal isn't to help students simply build a resume. We want them to reflect on the important role that each of us plays in contributing to betterment of our world.

In addition to the designation of "Graduate with Distinction" on diplomas of qualifying graduates, we honor truly exceptional students with medals. For example, the James Edward Horne Medal is awarded to the graduate who best exemplifies leadership, faithfulness, and a commitment to live in harmony with a greater purpose.

Caitlin Sweetlamb

Director of Service Learning

Caitlin integrates service learning into all areas of school life. She teaches Intro to Service Learning and Religion and partners with the Chaplain to weave service learning into Chapel programming. Caitlin also coordinates school-sponsored service learning activities, maintains relationships with community partner organizations, and manages the Middle School "Graduate with Disctinction" process.