“Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.” With those words, Dr. Mashadi Matabane, director of equity and inclusion and one of the lead organizers for the upper division Service Day, kicked off the second of two Service Days at Stevenson School. “And I promise,” she added, “Every one of you will do something today.”
On Tuesday, January 21 and Wednesday, January 22, Stevenson School students and faculty—approximately 700 students ranging from pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 along with nearly 100 faculty and staff—committed to making a difference through service in our local community.
In total, more than 4,000 hours of service and community engagement efforts were contributed by the Stevenson student body alone.
Service projects in the community included:
- sorting food at the Food Bank of Monterey County,
- preparing meals at Dorothy’s Kitchen,
- yardwork at Rancho Cielo,
- delivering meals to seniors through the Meals on Wheels program,
- partnering with Elkhorn Slough to do conservation work,
- picking up trash on the beaches and roadsides in Carmel and Pebble Beach,
- creating personal care bags for Women’s Gathering Place,
- knitting hats and making fleece caps for babies at CHOMP,
- planting trees and removing invasive species at state and regional parks throughout the county,
- landscaping at Gateway Center,
- helping prepare materials and games for family days at the Monterey Museum of Art,
- making Valentine’s Day cards for students and staff at Our Little Roses, a school for at-risk girls in Honduras,
- Organizing clothing and items for the Veterans Transition Center,
- bagging 2,440 pounds of rice and beans for the Rice Plus Project,
- spring cleaning at the Monterey Public Library,
- and several on-campus clean-up projects, including upgrading the garden.
Additionally, students spent time planning community engagement activities and donation drives to implement during the remainder of the school year to keep the spirit of the day alive.
“The day of service was an extremely rewarding experience that brought me closer to my classmates through working together to help those in need,” said Michael Barbera ’20.
Stevenson School’s annual Service Day began four years ago, as a way to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and his message of service and hope. It sparked a larger commitment to active citizenship and volunteerism throughout the school community and is now just one part of Stevenson’s year-round service-learning program. This was the first year Stevenson’s upper division participated.
"Martin Luther King Day used to be an actual school day, but the faculty said that they were uncomfortable with that—they felt like it wasn't really honoring a person who was fundamental in our nation's values and specifically in the values of our school community. I agreed that we needed to have the day off as a national holiday and that there needed to be something right next to it that was an all-community learning experience. So as a faculty, we came up with the idea of this one day where everybody—all faculty, all staff, and all students—were expected to be out in the community serving the needs of the community countywide,” said Molly Bozzo, head of the lower and middle divisions.
“I got to return to Dorothy’s Kitchen for the second year in-a-row,” said Hanna Haggquist ’25. “It was really interesting to see the changes they have made there, and it was great to be able to interact with some of the people we were serving. It felt really fulfilling knowing I was doing something to help people in our community.”
“Stevenson is proud to organize this opportunity for our students to serve and engage with our local community on the Monterey Peninsula. We took the community to heart. We had students working on campus, down at the beach, throughout the county and all the way up to Watsonville. Many students were eager for such a day and it is a testament to Stevenson School that we made a way to do it in the spirit of service-learning. Students and faculty have been amazing!” said Dr. Matabane.