Service has always been a large part of the Saint Joe experience. From the Joy of Saint Joe service day to service based clubs such as HOPE and SECO, it is clearly an integral part of the school culture. This year, a new award, the Aidan Short Service Award, is being given monthly to a Saint Joe student who has exceeded the service hour requirement and has gone above and beyond to serve the community. Lucy van Meter, a Saint Joe senior, received the award for the month of November for her over 40 hours of service as an assistant coach for a neighborhood summer league swim team.
Van Meter coached new swimmers, ages 4-8, through a six week season where they were able to swim against others in the area. The group focused on the fundamentals of the four strokes as well as helpful racing techniques.
This service was personal to van Meter as she grew up swimming for the same neighborhood team for 6 summers. After she became too old to swim for the team, she “wanted to stay involved as much as [she] could.” Van Meter recalls that her “favorite part of coaching was getting to work with kids who were starting to swim at the same time that [she] did” and adds that seeing some of the small swimmers’ first successes was incredibly fulfilling.
Van Meter is a strong believer in the importance of serving the community. She stressed the importance of “doing service that you are passionate about” stating that it “really makes positive impacts on yourself” as well as those you are serving. She recalls, “Every time one of my little swimmers completed a race that they thought they couldn’t do, watching them react to having conquered their fear made a huge impact on me and inspired me to implement their own joy and fearlessness in my life.”