Luke Center for Public Service

Distinction in Public Service

The Distinction in Public Service is granted to Punahou Academy students who demonstrate focused study, passion, and mastery in public service and community involvement.
Beginning early in the Academy, students should begin work on Luke Center’s Public Service requirements.  The Distinction process is a valuable opportunity that recognizes outstanding achievements in the spirit of service, knowledge, skills, and dispositions, while receiving a high level of mentorship from Luke Center Director and Staff.


Students may indicate interest in a Centers Distinction at any time, though it is advised to begin thinking about the competencies and required evidence early during the Academy experience. Progress toward the Distinction will be monitored, reviewed, and awarded by Center Directors upon completion of requirements.  



Final portfolio will require at least 3 pieces of evidence demonstrating growth toward each competency.

Students can make decisions based on the appropriate cultural framework to show respect and care for people and communities.
  1. I gather knowledge about place and culture.
  2. I incorporate my understanding of the culture of a place as I weigh decisions and take action.
  3. I seek feedback on the cultural appropriateness of my actions.
Students can respond to a true need in a community and take impactful action.
  1. I investigate the needs and concerns of a community.
  2. I engage with the perspectives of community members to understand context and complexity.
  3. I co-design an action plan with the community.
Students can act as leaders based on a commitment to understanding the experiences of others.
  1. I observe and listen to others in my community. 
  2. I reflect on how my leadership might impact the well-being of other individuals or groups. 
  3. I act to improve situations with consideration for all people involved.  

Honor Self and Place 
Students can use their strengths and talents to make a positive impact on their community.
  1. I identify my strengths and talents.
  2. I recognize how my strengths or talents could contribute to my community.
  3. I take personal action to impact the community. 
Students can align their behaviors and decisions to preserve and protect the environment.
  1. I analyze the capacity of humans to both harm and heal the earth. 
  2. I make choices based on consideration of the impact on the environment.
  3. I take action to preserve and protect natural environments.

Embrace Challenge 
Students can persevere through the challenges that arise in complex, sustained pursuits.
  1. I embrace unforeseen problems and challenges.
  2. I employ strategies to evaluate problems and choose a course of action.
  3. I navigate through difficult hurdles with resilience and resourcefulness.

Evidence for Competency

Providing Evidence
The following list is a road map for how students would gather sufficient evidence for the Distinction.  Students may, however, discuss and plan for an alternative road map with Center Directors.
  • Significant participation in Luke Leaders for a minimum of two years
  • Community oriented Kilohana project (ie: UN Sustainability Goals)
  • Teach at least one Junior School, school wide, or lower grade level workshop (Sustainability, Equality, new! Student Created) 
  • Volunteer with one or more organization(s) for a minimum of two years (or run your own organization)

Two or more of the following: 
  • Design or help run a community oriented or leadership-based G-term
  • Participate in one or more Race4Good challenges
  • Attend one Luke Sponsored Conferences or Speaker Series 
  • Significant participation in a club or organization aligned with service and community action (HUGS, Red Cross, Sustainability Club, ect...)
  • Organize one community drive 
  • Participate as a volunteer in the PLC 
  • Service Travel opportunities through Wo Center or private endeavors 
  • Significant involvement in Girl Scouts or Eagle Scouts with an associated project (Ex: Girls Scouts Gold Award project)
  • Active participation in AUW, Canned Food Drive, and Sustainability Fair (volunteer, project display)
  • BUILD YOUR OWN! If you are already on a journey that does not fit perfectly within the framework above, please see Dani Goddard to design your own unique pathway.


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