Leadership and Responsibility
Our Teen Action Program (TAP) strives to address real community needs while sparking in our students a commitment to education, leadership, social responsibility, and personal discovery. Students, teachers, administrators, and parents engage in various projects at more than 40 agencies, school, and non-profit organizations throughout Santa Fe.
Santa Fe Prep students contribute over 16,000 hours of service to the community each year, and we are very proud of the quality and quantity of their work. The organizations we work with are equally impressed with our students and grateful for their commitment to community service.
Students gain an enriched sense of themselves and others through experiences that span different cultures, generations, economic levels, and environmental issues. The goal is for students to further expand their understanding of societal issues by first identifying specific needs within the community and then designing projects that address these needs.
Another aspect of TAP that must be addressed is an honest discussion of fun and commitment in TAP. In an ideal world, community service would always be fun and inspiring and the time would fly by. The reality is some of the time, service work can be boring, difficult, and trying. The catch is that’s why it’s both necessary for the agencies with which we work AND an excellent opportunity for our students to learn something about humility and persistence. In this sense, it is very important that the students attend TAP each week and give their full commitment to the work.
Continuing our tradition of parent involvement is our invitation to lead a TAP group. Parent involvement is critical to the continuing success of our community service program. Leading a group is indeed a commitment of time (1:30 to 3:30 p.m. every Thursday) and it is also a great way to see our school in action. Simply put, the more parents are involved, the better the program, and that is why each year we request your support. In helping with TAP, you are not only helping the Prep community, but the community of Santa Fe as well.
Independent TAP Program
TAP is a cornerstone of the Prep experience. Engagement in community as well as building the grit, patience, and determination to help others is not a supplement to an academic education, but a crucial part of it. Over each students’ years at Prep, TAP asks for more independence and tenacity. In the past, we have not always encouraged ninth and tenth graders to pursue independent TAP projects. The reality is that independent TAP almost always takes more time than regular TAP and a great deal of maturity. The huge upside is that students may be able to tap into (pun intended!) areas they are really passionate about. We have emphasized that it is the student’s job (not the parents’) to do research, phone calls, and of course, the application. Another aspect of Independent TAP is the requirement for reporting and reflection each semester on their work. It’s always gratifying to read these reflections, seeing how the students are learning about their community and themselves.
Some of the organizations that this year’s Independent TAP students are working with include: TUSK USA, Camino Nuevo Detention Center, Grassroots Soccer, Santa Fe Conservation Trust, Presbyterian Hospital, Española, Fight For Human Rights, Santa Fe Dreamers Project, Wise Fool, NDI Dance Barns, Las Campanas Compadres, Kingston Assisted Living, 100 Kids Who Care, and Rio Rapids Northern Soccer Club.