By Gabriella Dominic     6/24/2019

Twenty-six graduates of Orange County Catholic Diocesan Elementary Schools are headed to Catholic high schools this fall with the scholarships awarded by the Notre Dame Club of Orange County (NDCOC).

NDCOC Outstanding Community Service Scholarship is awarded to an eighth-grader at each of the participating K-8 schools within the diocese who exemplifies what it means to give back and who will be attending Catholic high school in the fall.

“Outstanding community service is not necessarily defined by the number of hours.  In fact, we don’t define it. [We] leave it to each school to determine its recipient based on its own criteria. The recipient at each school can be determined by the principal, eighth-grade teacher, other faculty and staff, or if desired, by classmates,” said Paul Irving, vice president of community service at NDCOC.

Irving shared that unlike academic scholarships that typically favor a smaller pool of students, this scholarship is attainable by all who demonstrate remarkable generosity and a commitment to live life in the model of Jesus.

“The Notre Dame Club of Orange County scholarship reflects the alignment of Catholic education at all levels. Here in the Diocese of Orange, we are committed not only to high academic instruction but also to form disciples of Christ.  The University of Notre Dame empowers their graduates to be a force for good in the world,” said Debbie Loughran, associate superintendent of development for Orange County Catholic schools.

NDCOC is one of 270 alumni clubs worldwide representing the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.  Members consist of current students, parents, friends, and alumni of the University.  The club focuses on the 6 “Cs” – camaraderie, Catholic spirituality, current students, community service, continuing education, and communication. The club has events throughout the year in these areas.

NDCOC has two local endowments projects: ND2OC Endowment that provides support for Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) and Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP) and a scholarship endowment. The goal of the endowment projects is two-fold: to reward outstanding community service by youth in the Diocese of Orange and to let people know that Notre Dame is in the community and active.

This year, 26 out of 34 Catholic schools participated, an increase from eight schools in 2017 and 19 schools in 2018.

Participating elementary schools are: Holy Family School (Orange), Mission Basilica School (San Juan Capistrano), Our Lady of Fatima Academy (San Clemente), Our Lady of Guadalupe School (La Habra), Our Lady Queen of Angels School (Newport Beach), School of Our Lady (Santa Ana), St. Angela Merici  School (Brea), St. Barbara School (Santa Ana), St. Anne School (Santa Ana), St. Bonaventure School (Huntington Beach), St. Catherine of Siena School (Laguna Beach), St. Catherine’s Academy (Anaheim), St. Cecilia School (Tustin), St. Columban School (Garden Grove), The Parish School at St. Edward (Dana Point), St. Hedwig School (Los Alamitos), St. Irenaeus School (Cypress), St. Joachim School (Costa Mesa), St. John the Baptist School (Costa Mesa), St. Joseph School (Placentia), St. Juliana Falconieri School (Fullerton), St. Junipero Serra School (Rancho Santa Margarita), St. Justin Martyr School (Anaheim), St. Norbert School (Orange), St. Pius V School (Buena Park), and Sts. Simon and Jude School (Huntington Beach).