Eighth-graders who have already been accepted to a local Catholic high school, surround Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted as they display their Christian Service Awards March 3. Their service efforts and overall excellence earned them a private, partial tuition scholarship. (Photo Courtesy of the Catholic Community Foundation)

Logan Alvarado, a member of the National Junior Honor Society at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Scottsdale, volunteered for several community organizations and attended leadership courses during the summer, which is where he got the idea to launch an anti-bullying campaign at his school.

By partnering with the national anti-bullying prevention program, Blue Shirt Day, Alvarado and other student council members presented videos and advice to each age group this past October. He hopes it’s a lasting legacy.

“It’s a problem at schools everywhere. I’ve talked with our school counselor and student council advisor about keeping this program,” he said. “We plan to do a retreat for the incoming student council members about Blue Shirt Day.”

Alvarado, who will be attending Brophy College Preparatory next year, was one of 35 eighth-grade students honored March 3 at the 17th annual Christian Service Awards at St. Paul Parish. The $2,000-per-year, competitive scholarships — administered by the diocese’s Catholic Community Foundation — are awarded to elementary students from public or Catholic schools in recognition of completing at least 100 hours of volunteer service between Aug. 15 of their sixth-grade year and of their eighth-grade year to their parishes, schools and communities. Each four-year scholarship, will assist these students in attending a Catholic high school in the Diocese of Phoenix.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted congratulated the winners, thanking them for their dedication to service in the community.

“Jesus always referred to himself as the Son of Man. The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many,” the bishop said. “This inspires us as followers of Jesus Christ to serve. I am inspired by these recipients.Jesus said to ‘love one another as I have loved you’ and that is exactly what He inspired, not only for us today, but also all of you throughout the year; it is a living faith. I have seen many of the students serving around the diocese and I pray they all find joy in their service.”

To date, 346 students have received more than $2.8 million in total awards over the past 17 years, enabling them to receive a Catholic education. Individual donors sponsor the scholarships, and each recipient also receives a medal of St. Katharine Drexel, the patroness of the Catholic Community Foundation.

Involved in student council and the yearbook at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Glendale, Evelyn Lopez also plays volleyball, basketball and volunteers her time at the St. Vincent de Paul Family Dining Room with her mom. She plans to continue her service next year as a student at St. Mary’s Catholic High School.

She calls her experience at St. Vincent de Paul, “amazing.”

“It’s amazing to me to see people come together from very different backgrounds and dine together and be so thankful,” Lopez said. “It makes me smile to know that I’m helping someone else, and the experience has brought me closer to my mother.”

Correspondents Gina Keating and Karen Mahoney contributed to this article.


The Catholic Sun caught up with two other #2017CSA recipients when they were still in the application and interview process. Meet these two young men whose heart for service prompted them to pursue nonprofit status.

The Catholic Community Foundation and the elementary schools where the eighth-graders attend shared the good news about the 2017 recipients: