How We Practice Non Sibi

The Latin phrase non sibi (look for it on our school seal) translates as “not for self”; it’s a motto we take very seriously. Andover is a private school with a public purpose. We believe that education gains value when you bring it into the world, find ways to put it to use on behalf of the public good. Our Office of Community Engagement nurtures the non sibi spirit in our students, overseeing dozens of ongoing initiatives on campus and with partner organizations in the town of Andover and neighboring Lawrence, Mass.

Volunteering isn’t required, but it’s part of who we are. It’s about understanding the experience of our community partners, sharing your own experience with them, and building a new shared experience together. Students lead many of the programs. They recruit peers, keep volunteers informed, and plan program lessons. Community engagement experiences at Andover can form a solid foundation for meaningful involvement in the students’ future communities, wherever they may be.

Special Events

Throughout the year, one-day projects and events are open to the entire student body. A number of on-campus clubs also sponsor events throughout the year. Sign-ups for these events are announced via PAnet, the Academy’s intranet. The Community Engagement Office also is happy to facilitate one-time projects for athletic teams, dormitories, advisories, or any other group of Phillips Academy community members.

Bread & Roses Picnic

Students, faculty, and staff host this picnic for 150 guests from the Bread & Roses community kitchen each year. This picnic allows PA students to engage and interact with people from all ages and walks of life in a festive and relaxed atmosphere. Students plan and host games and activities, from chess and checkers to face painting and football. In addition to coordinating live musical events, including karaoke, students also cook and serve the entire meal. This picnic has a long tradition and is a cherished celebration of the friendship between Bread & Roses and PA.

Non Sibi Weekend

Non Sibi Weekend (NSW) is a weekend of awareness, action, and reflection for the Phillips Academy community.  While meeting genuine needs identified by our community partner organizations, the Community Engagement Office seeks to provide participants with meaningful opportunities to learn about social issues and ways to work cooperatively with partners to address them. Classes and athletic practices are cancelled on the Friday of NSW.

Juniors work with organizations that address the needs of children and families, lowers focus on the environment, uppers learn about health and hunger, and seniors get a closer look at homelessness and housing. These are the social issues addressed throughout PA’s yearlong programming, making it easier to connect NSW activities to the Community Engagement Office’s ongoing work.

A Sampling of Ongoing Community Engagement Programs

Science Club for Girls
Engage in fun science-related activities and games with girls in grades 3-6

Academy Manor Nursing Home
Visit with elderly residents of this nursing home

Youth Development Organization (YDO)
Work with students in grades 3-5 after school in eight different YDO programs

AdoptaPlatoon
Write letters to people serving in the military

Sí, Se Puede
Mentor students in grades 2-6 and assist them with their homework

Bread & Roses
Prepare a meal and serve it to 200+ guests at the Bread and Roses Meal Center

MSPCA
Help care for small and large animals at this animal shelter

Bread Loaf Writing Workshop
Write poetry with second graders at South Lawrence East Elementary School

Jumpstart
Read books and create crafts with preschoolers

Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
Introduce children the wonders of coding, help children with their homework, teach children how to play chess, or do arts and crafts with boys and girls of different ages in four different programs at this community center 

Project VOICE & ESL
Work with adults who are studying for their citizenship test or learning English

Andover-Lawrence Strings Program
Teach students in elementary and middle school how to play the violin, cello, or piano

We offer 

30

direct engagement programs that meet every week, and every term, every spot in every program gets filled.

Over the course of a term, nearly 

400

students are building relationships and working with our long-standing community partners.

Gracie

"You have to think about why you're volunteering. If you have a high-and-mighty attitude, or if you think the point is to impart your goodness on the world—that won't get you far. You know, I went in with all these ideas, all these plans. And I've had to learn how to be flexible."