Graduation Requirement

Upper School students are expected to participate in school-led, as well as independently sought-out, service experiences during their four years at Overlake.  Students are encouraged to address community needs that suit their interests.  Organizations benefit the most from return volunteerism and students develop lasting relationships through ongoing committed service work.

Students may wish to pursue activities targeting environmental stewardship, youth tutoring, visiting with the elderly, serving meals at food banks or engaging in leadership and social justice issues.  Students may engage in skill-based volunteering through customer service, data management or graphic design to support non-profit operations.  Students may also choose from several service-based Project Week offerings.  Service Learning provides meaningful opportunities for students to practice responsibility, curiosity, and compassion for their world.  These learning and personal outcomes are considered integral to an Overlake education.

Graduation Requirement Policy:

  • 60 volunteer hours (minimum) serving a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization are required for graduation
  • Required annual benchmarks:15 hours completed by Freshmen year, 30-Sophomore, 45-Junior, 60-Senior
  • Once a student has served 60 hours, the graduation requirement is met (regardless of the year of completion)
  • Total hours for students who enroll after their freshmen year will be prorated according to enrollment date
  • Service hours must be submitted online by students (grades 9-11) by the end of the semester in which the service activity was completed.  (Approval for hours is managed by, and at the discretion of, the Service Learning Director)
  • Service hours must be submitted online by students (grade 12) prior to leaving for Senior Projects. (Approval for hours is managed by, and at the discretion of, the Service Learning Director)
  • Service hours accumulated over summer months are applied to the next academic year
  • To report or review service hours visit the Service Learning page via the Overlake website

Defining Eligible Service:

  • Service hours will not be granted for paid internships or employment or funds donated to a nonprofit, even if funds are earned in employment for a nonprofit organization
  • In order for hours to be approved, a verifiable contact from the organization (and not the student’s parent) must be provided.  If no contact person is available, students must have their service activity preapproved by the Service Director before conducting the service.
  • 8 hours (maximum) toward the 60-hour requirement is eligible for service benefitting The Overlake School
  • Students may earn up to:
    • 15 hours per year for participating in a service-based Project Week
    • 15 hours toward their 60-hour requirement as a year-long peer tutor
    • 15 hours toward their 60-hour requirement for coaching a full season of a Middle School athletic team
    • 15 hours toward their 60-hour requirement for serving as an official for a full season of one sport
    • 15 hours toward their 60-hour requirement as an Overlake Summer Program intern


  • Learn about the mission and underlying needs of organizations and seek ones aligned with your interests
  • Serve 10 hours per year with one nonprofit to promote consistent relationship and reliable support  
  • Create a volunteer plan early considering school load, athletics/arts commitments, and project week options to maximize your time and establish contact with organizations before they book up
  • Students are encouraged to engage in service each school year, even if their requirement has been met

Student Resources

Students, please to view and submit service hours, or go directly to your dashboard at MyOverlake to view all student-specific content.


Laura Brown
Assistant Director of Experiential Education