Service is a way of life at Horizon. Students are given many opportunities and encouraged to serve their school, their community, and their world. As much as is possible, students do the organization and execution of service projects with coaching and advisement from staff and mentors. It is our belief that students learn much more by doing and possibly making mistakes than by be handed a polished product done by someone else.
Horizon has developed a robust Student Leadership Team for training up servant leaders. Students on Leadership Team manage the Student store for 6th-12th grade. They develop ways to honor and highlight the achievements of their fellow students, and they design and execute events that highlight relationship development peer to peer and staff to student. Students at Horizon also serve their fellow students through Worship Team, study groups, and prayer groups. It is not uncommon to see an older student reading with or tutoring a younger student in need of learning help.
Students at Horizon have touched their communities through food and clothing drives, participating in community clean-up days, rebuilding watershed and creek-side habitats, and running sports camps for young people of the community. The Secondary branch of Horizon builds one day into each semester to focus on the act of community service. Students have spent that day doing a variety of things from serving meals to the homeless under Burnside Bridge in Portland, to walking dogs at the local pet shelter, to running science tables at OMSI for 1200 elementary students.
The NHS chapter at Horizon takes service seriously as well. Each year the Horizon chapter organizes a service opportunity that will reach beyond the walls of our school and into the world. NHS has been key in organizing school-wide mission trips to Mexico drawing in the entire student body by asking for a provision of tangible goods for those less fortunate. Some students even accept the call to “go”, to serve face to face building houses and loving orphans. Other Horizon school-wide projects have included Operation Christmas Child, a program that provides Christmas gifts to children of impoverished nations.
Horizon aims to build into students the idea that serving is a way of life. Ninth through twelfth grade students are required to submit a semester report in their Bible class to document the time they have spent serving others. Many students have come to see serving others as something everyone naturally does and are quite surprised when they see the actual amount of time they have invested in their school, their community, and their world.