Service & Leadership

Knowledge in Service to Society


Society rewards students for individual achievement, but unfortunately the challenge of uplifting others and the world is often valued too little. At The Athenian School, you will be encouraged to find ways to apply your individual passions to meaningful, relevant projects that make a positive difference in the world.
    • Darfur

Community Service

To help you develop service as a way of life, students are guided through group service projects their freshmen and sophomore year. By junior year, you will be invited to create your own service project, demonstrating citizenship and leadership skills, a respect for the dignity of all, the ability to work with diverse people, initiate social change, and make a substantive difference in the community. In addition to a robust community service program, students are also engaged in our Athenian community in other ways. Students work in pairs on a Work Crew, which fosters responsibility and school stewardship by having students assist in the daily upkeep of the school as well as projects for the administrator on duty.
"WOW! What a day. Just watched the video of Gratitude. It is exactly what I felt today with the Athenian group. During the harvest, especially at the last home we went to, I was privileged to witness something very rare - cooperation between teacher and students. I was so in awe and jealous that this is not what I experienced when I was in school. They were such a "family", no ego or put downs between them. They bantered like friends, unbelievable. For that, I am grateful to know that these are the people who carry our future on this planet. It is they that we must nurture. I feel good knowing that there are still good, young people out there. They have made today special for me. I offered apples to students, none of them took more than 3 or 4 apples. They wanted to make sure it went to the hungry. If other schools could learn from Athenians and open their hearts to the poor, can you imagine what the world would be like?" -Kit Perry, Harvest Leader for The Urban Farmers


"My heart was throbbing with love and every so often my face hurt from smiling so much. No one complained and every volunteer who left that building left with a refreshed outlook on life and the simple things that can give people joy. From that moment forward, the experience opened my mind, my view on gratitude, and most importantly, my heart." --Paula J. '16 on making lunches at St. Anthony's Dining Room in San Francisco

Own Your Education

When a school community gives high levels of responsibility to its students, the result is an empowered and invested student body. Athens, our namesake, was a birthplace of democracy, and The Athenian School practices democracy by encouraging every student to share their ideas and by involving them in the decisions that affect them. We create forums and Town Meetings in which students have the chance to articulate their points of view and actively engage with administrators. 

There are many additional avenues at Athenian by which passionate students can create and lead. The faculty and administration support students who want to plan a new event, create a class, run a service project, or host a dialogue about a topic of interest. For example, juniors and seniors lead 10th grade community service groups as part of the 10th grade community service program.

Town Meeting Election Speeches


Ambassador Program

Athenian Ambassadors work with the Admission Team to share their Athenian experience with new families. Ambassadors must apply to participate and need to demonstrate maturity, willingness to serve, and a love for Athenian. Freshmen Ambassadors learn hospitality and empathy hosting prospective students in their classes and for lunch. Sophomore Ambassadors hone their storytelling and media skills by sharing their experience on Athenian's social networks. Junior and Senior Ambassadors practice teamwork, self-awareness and public speaking by meeting with prospective parents and answering their questions about Athenian.