Maggie Acosta '16 traveled to a developing city named Huancayo in the heart of the Andes of Peru. She worked for a grassroots organization Expand Peru that focuses oin healthcare and education. Maggie eventually began her own project working for a neurologist in the regional Es Salud Hospoital and opened an after-school program for kids ages 6-13.
"During my time in Peru, I made friends with university students around my age. Although we were students from two very different countries and cultures, we connected in infinite ways. It just goes to show that language can overcome so many barriers between people and form relationships that become instilled deep within you."
Evan Bulman '16 spent June and July of 2013 in Kabala, Sierra Leone working hand in hand with Nar Sarah Medical Clinic through Salone Enabling and Empowering Development International (SEED). As a fulltime volunteer with this organization, he worked chiefly to expand their financial sustainability projects. This work included farming, providing computer education, and tutoring English and Mathematics.
"Being teased as 'a Krio Boy' (a local tribe) at a family meal during my last few days in Sierra Leone was the perfect confirmation that the Sierra Leoneans I had the privilege to work with last summer were some of the most wonderful and hospitable people I have ever met."
Will Horne '14 lived in the Isan region of Thailand in Plaboo Village. In this village of about 70 families, he volunteered at the Farmer Community School as an English teacher and worked with students daily to provide them opportunities to engage and become familiar with the foreign language. The Farmer Community School, provides the area's youth with schooling in English as well as Thai heritage, traditional farming techniques, sex education, and leadership skills. It serves expose and engage students in subjects often left out of traditional Thai schooling.
"I'd never before met an entire community of such warm and caring people. Even beyond the amazingly enthusiastic kids, the adults and elders of the village greeted me with smiles, prayers, and open invitations to all of their community and engagements. The 'village' would be more aptly referred to as a 'family'. It was an amazing experience to feel a part of it, if only for two months."
Marcus Karim '14 spent his summer working with Changes for New Hope, an education-based non-profit in Huaraz, Peru that seeks to provide educational, health, and social support to local children and their families. Marcus spent his mornings working in a soup kitchen, providing meals to clients in the local community, and transitioned into a teaching role in the afternoons where he instructed students in math, science, and public health education. Furthermore, Marcus conducted self-esteem building activities with students to allow them to begin to develop a deep sense of worth and integrity in themselves, allowing them to see, and hopefully realize, their innate potential in the world around them.
"My time with Changes for New Hope was invaluable. I learned the immense value of building relationships with, and investing in, others, witnessed the resilience of the human spirit in the face of seemingly overwhelming obstacles. I came to truly appreciate human interconnectedness between cultures, across languages, and amongst people from different ways of life. While the world is undoubtedly vast and its people increasingly diverse, I have begun to realize, through my experience as a Global Citizen, that it may be the universal human desire to impact and touch the lives of those around us that acts as the common thread which weaves us together into a beautiful patchwork fabric of different life experiences, ideas, and world visions."
Marcus was featured in his home county's newspaper. Read the article.
Marble Karuu '14 spent her summer in Iten, Kenya working with the Kenya Scholar-Athlete Project. Since 2004, KenSAP has been assisting high achieving high school graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds apply to colleges and universities in the United States. Marble served as an instructor for the program, conducting daily classes to help prepare the students for the SAT and TOEFL exams and begin the college application process.
"I've come back from Kenya with a new appreciation for the power that education has in changing the circumstances of people's lives. The students I worked with overcame a number of unconventional obstacles on their journeys to complete high school. In their success they defied the circumstances of their backgrounds and came to stand out as examples in their families and communities. They're all very deserving of the opportunities that lie ahead if and when admitted to colleges and universities here in the US. I look forward to seeing them all again 10 months from now when they land at the airport."