Media

Varsity Letter

We will inspire our students to understand and serve the greater good. Minnetonka Public Schools Strategic Plan

Minnetonka High School students can earn a Varsity Letter by meeting specific criteria in the area of community service.

Students in grades 9 – 12 are eligible to apply and can earn a letter each year.


Varsity lettering criteria:

  • 150 hours of unpaid, volunteer service completed in any 12 month period beginning the summer before 9th grade. At least 75 hours must be completed through one agency or for one cause to insure understanding and sustained commitment to a selected social issue that is personally relevant to you, e.g. homelessness, elderly care, poverty, literacy, environment, health care.
  • A record of all service hours verified by an adult supervisor or parent.
  • Two recommendation letters from organizations or people served describing your service, and performance.
  • Reflection Project: A written reflection, journal, video, song, work of art, children’s book, presentation, interview with Ms. Seets or other piece of work based on your sustained service with one agency or in one area of need.
  • You must be academically eligible (2.0 or above GPA) and chemical free during the year to participate in this program.

How do I record my Community Service Hours?

Letters of Recommendation

Obtain two letters of recommendation from the agencies or individuals you served.

Reflection Project
The purpose of the Reflection Project is to demonstrate your understanding of the agency or issue of interest by answering the following questions:

  1. What is the organization, need or issue selected and why did you chose it?
  2. Why does this issue exist and who is affected?
  3. Who are the public and private organizations working on this issue and what is being done to address it? How are they succeeding and what are their limitations?
  4. What did you expect to experience before you began volunteering in this area and how did your expectations differ from your actual experiences?
  5. How did you serve? Describe your thoughts and feelings at specific times as you served.
  6. Were there ethical issues that you encountered?
  7. What new skills, knowledge and/or understanding have you gained?

You are encouraged to see Michelle Seets in the Activities Office if you have questions or wish to review your reflection before submitting it.

Varsity Letter application

When you've finished all the requirements, complete the MHS Varsity Letter application and submit it with a verified record of your hours served, letters of recommendation and reflection project.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

All Minnetonka High School students grades 9–12.

Where can I volunteer?

There are many ways to volunteer in your community through school, churches, hospitals, non-profit agencies, nursing homes, parks, etc. Visit www.TonkaServes.org to find volunteer opportunities.

How are hours spent volunteering on a mission trip, as a camp counselor or on a volunteer vacation counted?

Volunteers may count up to 8 hours per day for mission trips, camp counseling or volunteer vacations. If you have documentation proving you served more than these hours you may submit it.

Can I count hours from club meetings?

If you participate in a school club, youth group, scouts, etc. you may count hours spent at meetings organizing and implementing a service project. Only hours spent planning and participating in a service project will count as community service hours.

Can I count my volunteer hours towards both a Varsity Letter and other volunteer awards like the President’s Volunteer Service Awards?

Yes, you may apply hours spent volunteering towards other awards. You may not count hours spent preparing your Reflection Project towards either a Varsity Letter or the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

What else doesn’t count?

  • Volunteer hours that apply towards another Varsity Letter i.e., sports team managers, participants in theatre or choir performances
  • Paid, mandatory or court-ordered community service.
  • Community service that gives you credit hours.
  • Fundraising that benefits you.
  • Travel time to and from service activities.
  • Hours spent sleeping during overnight service trips or camps. You may count eight hours maximum per day or provide documentation that you served more.
  • Unpaid internships with for-profit companies.
  • Hours spent in meetings or training unless you were planning or participating in service activities.
  • Household chores or service to people living in your home.

How can I learn more?

Contact Michelle Seets, Community Service Specialist:

952-401-5766 or Michelle.Seets@minnetonkaschools.org