The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

    Kiri Diaz-Asper: CAS Role Model With Over 500 Service Hours

    The Creativity, Service and Activity program (CAS) is an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme requirement that allows students to gain a variety of extracurricular experiences. While WIS students are only required to complete 60 service hours, Class of 2023 alumna Kiri Diaz-Asper achieved 500 hours of service hours during her senior year, primarily through her dedicated work as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). 

    Diaz and her fellow EMT’s on Nov. 3, 2022 at the Bethesda firefighter training academy. Diaz earned 500 service hours through volunteering as an EMT. (Courtesy of Captain Norman Powers)

    During their freshman year, every WIS student gets introduced to CAS. Diaz had been a lifelong WIS student, so was intimately familiar with the standards expected of every student during this service journey. As junior year began, Diaz elevated her commitment to volunteering.


    “I got into doing service because of a love of my community and a calling to help those in need,” Diaz said.

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    Starting on March 16th, 2022, most of her many hours came from volunteering as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at Bethesda Fire and Rescue, a fire station located in Bethesda, Maryland. After seeing an advertisement on their website, she immediately signed up and went through an interview process to later be accepted and trained. 


    While she also gained service hours through dog fostering and other activities, being an EMT captured Diaz’s interest as an aspiring medical student. Diaz currently attends Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and is currently aiming for the school’s well-regarded pre-med track. 


    “[I chose] EMT-ing because it was something I’m interested in with medicine, and I could make a positive impact on my community,” Diaz said.


    To follow her dream of pursuing medicine, she had a strict EMT schedule that entailed classes and training from Tuesday through Thursday, and weekend visits to the station. On top of this, Diaz balanced school requirements and activities.


    “I would say the number one challenge was probably time management,” Diaz said. “[As a WIS student] you’re [expected to] get all these hours, but still do homework and have a social life.”


    Diaz overcame this challenge through new time management strategies, a positive attitude, and many sacrifices.


    Like many high schoolers, another challenge she encountered was burnout.


    “Eventually you start doing the same stuff, repeatedly every day, and it’s long hours and it’s a lot to do, and eventually you get burnt out,” Diaz said. “I overcame that by taking some time to myself, while still staying committed.”


    Despite the challenges, the highs balanced out the lows. Being an EMT allowed Diaz to connect with many people. She shares fond memories of playing pickleball with the fire station firefighters and interacting with memorable patients. 


    Diaz’s main piece of advice for students struggling to complete CAS hours is to be timely with it.  


    “Get it out of the way as soon as possible,” Diaz said. “[Do] something that aligns with your other activities, like extracurriculars and sports, and, most importantly, something you just generally enjoy and is beneficial for college.”

    Diaz’s experiences taught her resilience, adaptability, and empathy for those around her, Given the chance to revisit the past, she would do it again immediately. 


    “Follow your heart,” Diaz said. “Do what makes you happy, and get your CAS done.”


    By Mahina Diaz-Asper

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      Conchita Diaz-DiazApr 28, 2024 at 5:14 pm

      Your perception and ability to put your thought in an orderly and comprehensive manner results in a piece that’s enjoyable to read.
      Praising the accomplishments of your sister says a lot about your beautiful nature.
      I applaud your talent!