Superior Service: Freshman earns over 200 service hours


Mrs. Lopez

Freshmen Michaela Wilcox assembles a porch on the mission trip.

Norah Heise

 A dozen girls stand in a driveway, gluing and drilling sheets of plywood in place, hammering down roof shingles or painting dog houses a light blue. The organized chaos is all under the direction of freshman Michaela Wilcox. 

This year, Wilcox logged over 200 service hours. Ninety-four of them were Corporal Works of Mercy hours, far exceeding the 80-hour requirement needed for graduation.  

The main bulk of the hours were split between three different groups: UpLift, the West Virginia Mission trip and Wilcox’s own Eagle project.

“We go to UpLift regularly,” Wilcox said. “Like once a month as a family… I started going there when I was 14.” 

The typical time spent at UpLift is six hours spent riding around in trucks, distributing food to Kansas City’s homeless community, and Wilcox said it was a simple way to rack up hours impacting the community.

“UpLift is really fun,” she said, “You can take new people and it makes it fun and you get to talk with lots of people.”

Wilcox completed her Eagle project over the summer before freshman year. She organized the building of dog houses and pet shelters for KC Pet Project. That one project accounted for almost half of Wilcox’s hours, with close to 100 hours of effort spent working on the project.

“I heard that they needed help with those things,” Wilcox said. “So I reached out to them and they gave me some ideas on what I could do.”

The third big project was the West Virginia Mission trip. Her decision to spend her spring break helping others was a no-brainer, she said. 

“I liked building things,” Wilcox said, “And I knew we were building houses or like things for houses and I wanted to do that.”

Even though required service hours were due in April, Wilcox is still out serving, helping friends with their own Eagle projects and picking up trash along walking trails.

She is well on her way to earning the Mary Perrini Award, which is given to a senior who earns 500 or more hours during their four years at Miege. As of now, Wilcox has already earned the Silver Award, which is given to any seniors who earn over 150 hours of service.

However, Wilcox said earning any type of award isn’t her goal, and she will continue to serve despite having met the graduation requirements.

“I wasn’t doing it for the hours,” Wilcox said. “I was just doing it to do it.”