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Meet Our New Learning Center Students: Part Five

Outreach360 welcomed 50 new Nicaragua Learning Center students in late September 2017. These students have been studying English for nearly two months and have since learned a significant amount of the English language. The new Outreach360 students have worked with several different volunteers, completed numerous art projects, and worked on mastering English pronunciation.

But wait, there’s more.

We have been introducing our new students in a series of blog posts. This final blog post will complete our introductory series. The Nicaragua students have filled out questionnaires that ask important questions, such as, “What do you like most about Outreach360?” We hope that their answers inspire you to get involved with Outreach360, whether that be through donating, volunteering, or sharing news and updates about Outreach360 with your family and friends. If you missed our previous blog posts, you can find them hereherehere, and here.

Sheryl

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like the teachers the most. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to become a translator.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a teacher.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to have the power of ice, laser beams, and super strength because the ice will help people when they are hot, the laser beams will help me to fight against villains, and being super strong will help me to lift heavy things.

 

Joneybi

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like learning English and the activities that we do. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn more English.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an engineer when I grow up!

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to be super strong, so I can lift heavy things.

 

Jhonathan

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that they teach me English here and that I learn how to speak it.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to be bilingual like our teachers.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a great English speaker and learn a lot, like our teachers.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I wish I could have the power to freeze time. That way I would be able to be able to advance in English class. 

Fun Fact:

I like to run a lot and to smile every day. 

 

Efrain

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we learn English.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn English.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a teacher. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to have super strength.

Fun Fact:

I like to sing in the shower.

 

Dayanara

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that the learning is better here.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to pay attention to my teachers.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would like to become a Pediatrician when I grow up. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I want to have the power of healing people and be able to revive them. I don’t like it when people die.

Fun Fact:

Once, I feel off of an avocado tree because I was playing with my friends.

 

Andy

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

Outreach360 gives us the opportunity to learn English. I like that the most. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to learn English, so I can be a good student in high school.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an English teacher when I grow up. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to be Super Kid to help other kids.

Fun Fact:

I once greeted another person thinking that she was my mom.

 

Clara

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like when the teachers come here and teach us. I also like when they give us notebooks and other things.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to be the best student.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a dentist.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to be able to run fast, and I would like to fly, so I can become a heroine. 

Fun Fact:

I like to sing in the shower.

 

Rosalinda

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that they are teaching us English. We have the opportunity to meet new people. We also play games with the teachers, who are nice and kind to us.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn English.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an English teacher.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to have the ability to speak all the languages in the world. That way I would be able to understand and help everybody.

Fun Fact:

I like to play with my brother. I like to use my mini tablet and with my dolls

 

Johan

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that the teachers are well prepared.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to be the best student I can be. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would like to be the best police officer in Jinotega when I grow up. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I want to become the Hulk because he is strong.

Fun Fact:

Once, I fell when the floor was wet.

 

Osmani

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like Outreach360 so much because I can learn English here.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to learn English to become fluent. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would like to become an architect. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I want to be Spiderman because I like his power very much.

Fun Fact:

Once I was playing on the street and I fell down. It was a funny moment.

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Volunteer Opportunities for STEM Majors

Service STEMs from dedicated volunteers with a variety of backgrounds and interests. Outreach360 students are curious to explore subjects in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM fields offer a variety of career options for people living in Latin America. In order to meet the needs and interests of our students, Outreach360 wants to invite STEM majors to serve in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua to lead classes during the 2018 Dare to Dream Summer Camp program.

The 2018 Dare to Dream Summer Camp program will be led by Outreach360 short-term volunteers and Caminos Volunteer interns. Caminos Volunteers teach abroad for 8 or 12 weeks in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua Learning Center programs, whereas short-term volunteers serve for lengths of 1 to 7 weeks. This is the second summer that Outreach360’s Dare to Dream Summer Camp program will hold classes focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

What will you gain from this experience? The chance to share your passion abroad!

This opportunity is perfect for college students interested in making a global difference while sharing their passion for STEM subjects. College students will have the unique opportunity to teach abroad as a Caminos Volunteer or a short-term volunteer. Caminos Volunteers and short-term volunteers will be working in the community to provide powerful and meaningful STEM educational programs that pave the way to a new life for the children we serve.

“As a STEM major, volunteering with Outreach360 was incredibly rewarding. I got to challenge myself by figuring out how to turn my scientific knowledge into fun camp lessons. Every time a student was inspired to ask questions and figure out how the world works, I was reminded why I wanted to become a scientist in the first place, ” Kennedy Gould, a student at UC Davis, explained.

Teaching abroad can open doors for volunteers. Being exposed to service abroad will initiate you into the emerging world of global citizenship. With these experiences, you will become more conscientious of the needs of the international community. Furthermore,  volunteering as Caminos Volunteer or a short-term volunteer will encourage you to continue learning about issues around the world, and become powerful advocates for action and change.
Volunteers will be teaching students about STEM subjects and
how they can be applied within the international community.

This exchange of knowledge will empower your personal growth of knowledge in the STEM field by requiring you to think outside the box in order to teach about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a sustainable way. What may be practiced in the United States or Canada, may not be practiced in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Discovering these differences will further your growth as a STEM professional. Most importantly, it will motivate students to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Carmiña Londoño, a former Outreach360 volunteer, says, “The Outreach360 students are curious about the natural world and eager to learn about science and how ‘things work’. The students really appreciate the hands-on experiences that Outreach360 can bring them through the science camps.  Leading or participating in a science camp is a rewarding experience that will open the minds of these young, potential scientists while leaving an indelible mark on one’s heart.” 
Learn more about Outreach360 here: www.outreach360.org
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Meet Our New Learning Center Students: Part Four

Outreach360 embraced 50 new Nicaragua Learning Center students. These students were welcomed into our English language learning program in late September of this year. Now that these students have settled into our program, Outreach360 wants you to have the opportunity to get to know them from home.

Why is this important? Because Outreach360 students are important.

We will be introducing our new students in a series of blog posts. The Nicaragua students have filled out questionnaires that ask important questions, such as, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We hope that their answers inspire you to get involved with Outreach360, whether that be through donating, volunteering, or sharing news and updates about Outreach360 with your family and friends. If you missed our previous blog posts, you can find them herehere and here.

Meet 10 new Nicaragua Learning Center students that want you to get to know them:

Elsania

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that I am learning English and the activities that our teachers do with us. They are so kind.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn English, to share the knowledge with my classmates, and to listen to my teachers.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a veterinarian when I grow up!

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to be able to help people.

Fun Fact:

Once I went to the market with my mom and instead of hugging her, I hugged another person.

Kevin 

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like it because the teachers teach us something that is very useful for our life.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to improve my English and my handwriting.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a banker when I get older.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to have a superpower that would help people.

Fun Fact:

I like to make and say things that make no sense.

 

Allison

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I am happy that Outreach360 has given me the opportunity to learn English.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to be able to translate in English and to be like the teachers. I want to be able to speak like them.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would want to primarily be a bank teller and also a translator.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to have the power of wisdom because I would be able to teach others.

Fun Fact:

Once, I was petting a kitten, he scratched me, and I bled.

Mileydi 

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we learn English here.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to improve my English.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would like to be a translator when I grow up. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I want to be a Powerpuff Girl and have eyes laser.

Fun Fact:

One time I found 100 cordobas [about 3 U.S. dollars] on the street.

 

 

Dulce 

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we learn English and have fun with the teachers.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to be able to pay attention and behave in class

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would like to be a  lawyer one day. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to be invisible, so I can miss class at school and be able to scare people.

Fun Fact:

Once I grabbed another person`s hand because I thought that she was my mom.

Bismarck

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I am happy that Outreach360 has given me the opportunity to learn English for free.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to learn more English.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would like to be a civil engineer one day. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to be able to fly. That way I can travel to other countries.

Fun Fact:

I swallowed a nail once. 

 

Maria Alejandra

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that the Outreach360 program has given me the opportunity to learn English.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to be a good student and make a commitment to learning English. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to learn English to be able to teach kids who really need it. I would also like to be a veterinarian.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to be able to help other kids.

Fun Fact:

During a fair, I grabbed another woman’s hand because I thought that was my mom`s hand.

Joey 

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that the teachers teach us English with games and fun activities.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to learn English and be able to translate.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a translator in the future. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to have super strength to be able to help my community with heavy work.

Fun Fact:

One day I put my tongue in the freezer and then I couldn’t remove it.

 

Hanzell

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we learn English and the activities we do in class. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn English.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a psychologist when I grow up. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I want to be like Spiderman, so I can save the world.

Fun Fact:

I’m funny.

Jesser

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like the unity and the support in the classroom. The teachers are patient and dedicated to teaching the topics.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to learn a lot of English and build new friendly relationships with my teachers and classmates.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a volunteer teacher with Outreach360 and to be able to share the support that they give to me.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I want to have the power of strength and be able to fly and save people. I don’t like violence and war. I like the idea of a life where everyone gets along together.

Fun Fact:

When I was a child, I was visiting my aunt and then my mom left me there for a while. I thought that my mom would leave me there forever, but she came back.

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It’s Not About You. It’s About Outreach360 Students.

Serving abroad is a selfless act. It’s an opportunity to focus on the needs of others and to make a difference in international communities. When you are volunteering abroad with Outreach360 in the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua it is important to remove the focus from yourself in order to make a lasting impact on the students. It’s Not About You.

Picture this:

An Outreach360 student asks you to read a book with them. You recognize the title of the book-one of your childhood favorites-and you agree to read with the student. You joke about how you used to read books like this when you were the student’s age. The student hands you the book and looks at you expectantly. You think about all the time, money, and effort you spent to volunteer abroad just to sit down and read a children’s book. To you, this task may seem insignificant. To the student, the words in that book will fuel their future.

Simple acts, such as reading a children’s novel, will transform the lives of our students in powerful ways. Reminding yourself that your volunteering experience is not about you will empower your actions to better serve Outreach360 students. Although this process may seem difficult, it will make your volunteering experience more meaningful to you and the students.

Sydney O’Hara, an Outreach360 Communications OLÉ Volunteer, says, “I did not embrace the It’s Not About You Outreach360 principle until late into my first volunteering experience. One week before my trip, my dad was diagnosed with a terminal form of skin cancer. Although I was physically present in the Dominican Republic, mentally I was at home with my dad. I allowed this news to hinder my ability to be the best teacher I could be for the students. It was not until my last day abroad that I understood the implications of the It’s Not About You principle, and I was able to carry this lesson over into my relationship with my dad. Service is selfless, whether that be in service of children’s education or in service of your loved ones during trying times.”

What do you have to gain from this principle? The knowledge that you are able to serve students wholeheartedly

Outreach360 envisions a world where every person lives a life of choice. Before this can be obtainable, Outreach360 volunteers must choose to directly serve students. Embracing the Outreach360 It’s Not About You principle will transform your volunteering experience. It will open your eyes to the power of your service and the impact you can create in the lives of underserved children. In this way, you will ensure that all Outreach360 students can live a life a life of choice.

“When we say It’s Not About You, we mean that it’s about the children that we are serving; it’s about the children you are working with; it’s about the community that you are coming into as a stranger. There are other people that depend on this experience. This experience is about the people you are working with and how this experience benefits them, not you. However, it is a two-way street in a lot of ways. You’ll discover that you will benefit a lot from giving back to others,” Carla Mora, an Outreach360 Volunteer Leader, explained.

Visit the Outreach360 website for more information: www.outreach360.org

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Meet Our New Learning Center Students: Part Three

As most of you know, Outreach360 welcomed 50 new students into the Nicaragua Learning Center in late September of this year. Our eager-to-learn kiddos have been improving their language skills in the Outreach360 English education program for over one month. During their Outreach360 experience, our new students have tie-dyed t-shirts, worked on their pronunciation of English words, and have embraced Outreach360 volunteers with open arms.

Fun Fact: the new Nicaragua Learning Center students want you to get to know them!

We will be introducing our new students in a series of blog posts. The Nicaragua students have filled out questionnaires that ask them to share fun facts about themselves. We hope that their answers inspire you to get involved with Outreach360, whether that be through donating, volunteering, or sharing news and updates about Outreach360 with your family and friends. If you missed our last few blog posts, you can find them here and here.

Let’s jump right in! Now introducing 10 new Outreach360 Nicaragua Learning Center students:

Doris

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we get to read, play, and learn.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to learn more English.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would like to be a bank teller.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to be like the Incredibles because they have super strength.

Fun Fact:

I am smart.

 

Nahima

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we get to learn English.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn everything that they teach us here.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a principal of a school one day. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to have super strength.

Fun Fact:

I like coloring at school.

 

Jonier

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

 I like to read books, and I like being with my English teachers.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to move up to Level 2 in English class and to be a good student.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would like to be a soccer player when I grow up. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to have a super strength power to save humanity.

Fun Fact:

I like to sing in the shower.

 

Larian 

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we learn English and the activities we do.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to do my best in my class.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a veterinarian.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to have the power of strength.

Fun Fact:

I am fun, and I make my friends laugh.

 

Edward

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like it because we are learning English poco a poco [little by little].

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to learn and practice English more.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a translator.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to be just like the Hulk. 

Fun Fact:

Once, I was on the basketball court and a squirrel came up to me and put a worm in my hand.

 

Annethe 

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we learn English the most.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to get good grades, do my English homework, and to be well behaved in class.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a teacher.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to have laser powers.

Fun Fact:

Once, I grabbed another person’s hand thinking it was my mom`s hand.

 

Jessy 

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like how the teachers teach us. The classes are very entertaining.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goals are to learn English, make new friends, and get to know everyone well.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I am not sure yet. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to be able to fly like Spiderman and help people.

Fun Fact:

I was traveling with my mom once and on my way back home, I fell asleep. My mom woke me up and I was so scared.

 

Fernando

 

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like when we play and when we read in class. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to learn a bit more of English, so I can get good grades in high school.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to graduate from high school and get a University degree in the future. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to be able to fly and to have the ability to see from the sky. If someone is in trouble, I would be able to help them that way.

Fun Fact:

Once, I was feeding a street dog and he bit me.

 

Karla

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I love reading and participating in class.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to be a good student and to study more English in class. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an English teacher.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to be a Powderpuff Girl because they have laser eyes, super speed, and they can talk to animals.

Fun Fact:

Once, I was talking on the phone and I did not see a light post and I hit it.

 

Cristhian 

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

Outreach360 is a good organization because it brings us the opportunity to learn English.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to improve my English even more.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an electrical engineer when I grow up.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to help others.

Fun Fact:

Once, a friend of mine hit me with a ball.

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Your High School Will Benefit From An Outreach360 Trip

“I have been a teacher for 12 years and I know what goes into planning and providing learning experiences. Nowhere else can you go in with no required teaching education or experience and yet have a meaningful week where you truly become a teacher and see what benefits this career provides firsthand.” -Rebecca Walsh; St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. 

Finding the perfect balance between education and fun can be difficult for teachers, but one common truth stands: high school students want to be a part of something greater than themselves. Outreach360 offers volunteer programs for high school students that aim to empower young adults to make a difference on a global scale. High school volunteers work to educate underserved children during their experience with Outreach360 in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

But wait. There’s more.

Outreach360 provides high school students with a standout service-learning experience. Your students will be immersed in the Latin American culture and take part in inclusive cultural activities, such as informational documentaries, interactive discussions about Nicaraguan and Dominican Republic culture from Outreach360 mentors, and cultural excursions.  In addition, the Outreach360 volunteer programs for high school students are safe and affordable.

This volunteering opportunity for high school students will create memories that will last a lifetime. Here are 10 reasons why you should take your high school students abroad to volunteer with Outreach360:

 1. Your Students’ Health and Saftey is our #1 Priority

Here’s the deal: Outreach360 offers volunteer programs for high school students that strive to provide a safe and health conscientious environment supported by staff and local community members. “One of the things I like best about this trip is that it is a great introduction to service for a lot of our kids in technically a third world environment that is still safe. We feel comfortable with them experiencing some different conditions than they are used to but in terms of how the food is prepared and the safety precautions taken we don’t feel as though we are putting them at risk and yet exposing them to an opportunity to see a completely different part of the world,” Amy Vachris, a St. Mark’s High School teacher, said. Since 1994, Outreach360 has hosted over 22,000 volunteers who have enjoyed a healthy and safe volunteer experience. There are several factors that make our organization safe, including our highly trained staff, our well-accommodated facilities, and our developed community relationships. For more information about our health and safety practices, read this blog post: https://outreach360.org/blog/health-safety-first-priority/

2. Students Will Gain Cultural Insights

As teachers, Outreach360 works to create an immersive experience that students will remember for a lifetime. We know that you work to do the same for your high school students at home. Outreach360 provides volunteer programs for high school students that will expand your students’ cultural and global knowledge. Although your students will become Outreach360 teachers for the week, they will be learning about the unique cultures of the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua in an immersive setting. Outreach360 high school volunteers gain cultural insights through our educational programming, which includes informational documentaries, interactive discussions about Latin American culture from Outreach360 mentors, and cultural excursions.

3. Instill a Mentality of Service in Your Students

Service is powerful. Period. Service abroad will not only change the world but will also change your high school students’ perspectives. By volunteering abroad with Outreach360, high school students will learn the value of giving back in international communities and at home.  Maria Kane, a teacher at The Pennington School, said, “This experience allowed me as a teacher to see my students away from technology and media to play and learn vulnerably.” Your students will grow to express their vulnerabilities through service, away from technology. A service-learning trip will increase the odds that your students go on to live a life of service and inspire their peers to do the same.

4. No Planning Means No Worries

Outreach360 understands that international travel logistics can be a nightmare for teachers. Between lesson planning for the school year and professional development days, you deserve a break. When you choose to volunteer with your high school students, you will not have to worry about in-country logistics. We will handle your transportation to and from the airport, provide you with comfortable housing, and three home-cooked meals per day. Outreach360 exists to make your volunteering abroad experience easy – it’s a turn-key approach to international service. Our staff is highly trained to accommodate all the needs that your students might have, so you can truly enjoy the experience of volunteering in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

5. Teach Teamwork

Teamwork makes the dream work. Outreach360 high school volunteers work alongside their teachers to educate underserved children in Latin America. This process creates a community of service-minded high school students. In order to meet your group’s volunteering goals, high school volunteers will need to work together to create effective lesson plans that engage Outreach360 students. Together, you will support each other throughout the process. This further encourages bonding time between classmates, motivating new friendships that will grow while serving and at home. This opportunity is a great way to spend quality time with your students. As a teacher, you will discover new qualities about your high school students that you never knew before.

6. Future Fun

International service is fun! Outreach360 high school volunteers will have the opportunity to explore a foreign city, hike up mountains, and make a difference in hundreds of students’ lives. Although your high school students will have several chances to participate in the local culture, you will be surprised to find that teaching will be the highlight of their week. Outreach360 students are thrilled to share powerful intercultural experiences with high school students. See all the ways that Outreach360 volunteer programs for high school students are fun here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw5XUQ4Gq3Q

7. Bring it Home

Outreach360 motivates high school students to dedicate themselves to a lifetime of service. Imagine if all young adults strived to make the world a better place through service at home and abroad. Their impact combined would move mountains. Outreach360 aspires to create a community of global high school students who are committed to making a difference and giving back, whether that means returning to volunteer in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua or volunteering at home. After participating in Outreach360 volunteer programs for high school students, your high school students will want to continue to make an impact in your local community and internationally.

8. Inspire Others

Volunteering abroad as a high school student will inspire others to do the same, creating a community of service-minded young adults who are passionate about giving back. This, of course, is not limited to young adults. Here is what Laura Layton Pendorf, a retired Polytechnic School teacher, had to say about her volunteering experience: “I was a high school Spanish teacher for 41 years and just retired. I have felt lonely and unneeded since then, this week in Jinotega working with the Nicaraguan children and my ex-students have given me a whole new outlook on life. I feel deeply inspired, proud of my capacities, and so deeply joyful to have shared them.”  Volunteering with Outreach360 as a teacher or a high school student will create positive change. Simply sharing your Outreach360 story, like Laura, can empower other teachers and high school students to volunteer. Eventually, this will lead to a high school volunteer and teacher volunteer community that is enthusiastic about direct service.

9. Empower Your Students to Empower Others

Each student in your high school has different skills and talents that make them extraordinary. Outreach360 aims to allow individuals to use their skills and talents to empower students in the local community. When you volunteer, you will share in your high school students’ strengths in order to make lessons more engaging for Outreach360 students. Laura Monti, a high school teacher from The Taft School, said, “As a teacher, I’d encourage other teachers to participate for insight into another educational experience, for the pride you feel when your students become teachers, and for the growth, you will experience when you are put into an entirely unfamiliar teaching environment.” Empowering your high school students through teaching will, in turn, empower others, including Outreach360 students, staff, and local community members. This process will motivate Outreach360 students to develop their own passions and to share them with the world, making their dreams a reality., 

10. Your Students Will Become Global Citizens

Exposing your high school students to service abroad will initiate your students into the emerging world of global citizenship. With these experiences, young adults will become more conscientious of the needs of the international community. Katherine Holding, a high school student from Fay School, says, “Outreach360 gave me not only a greater perspective of the one world we all share as well as an insight into the impact of love, but also showed me a previously unknown side of myself. While here, I found myself doing things I would have thought impossible and learning more than I ever could have imagined.”  Service will take on a new meaning and open doors for new beginnings for your high school students. The volunteer programs for high school students will cause your students to continue learning about issues around the world and become powerful advocates for action and change.

Register a team for the Outreach360 volunteer programs for high school students here:  https://outreach360.org/volunteer/high-school-teams/

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Meet Our New Learning Center Students: Part Two

On Monday, September 25, 2017, Outreach360 accepted 50 new students into the Nicaragua Learning Center program. Former Outreach360 volunteers may recognize many of these new students as English language learning camp attendees. Today marks the one month anniversary of our students’ arrival at the Nicaragua Learning Center. We could not think of a better way to celebrate their introduction into formal English education than by introducing 10 of these new students to you.

Why is this important? Because Outreach360 is proud of our Nicaragua Learning Center students!

We will be introducing our new students in a series of blog posts. The Nicaragua students have filled out questionnaires that address hard-hitting questions, such as “If you were Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?”. We hope that their answers inspire you to get involved with Outreach360, whether that be through donating, volunteering, or sharing news and updates about Outreach360 with your family and friends. If you missed last week’s blog post, you can find it here: https://outreach360.org/blog/meet-new-learning-center-students/

Here are 10 students that Outreach360 has welcomed into the Nicaragua Learning Center Program:

Daniela

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like to learn more English, so that way I can be prepared for high school.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn English. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a doctor and a translator.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to be able to see the future.

Fun Fact:

I would like to play soccer in Spain. I am a very happy girl.

 

Erlinda

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we have really good classes every day.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to learn more English.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a translator.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to see the future because I will be able to see my brother’s future too.

Fun Fact:

I like to play.

 

Anthony

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we learn English.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to study and learn.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a police officer when I grow up. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to be Superman, so I can save lives.

Fun Fact:

I like to do fun things.

Franyoli

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that I get to learn English.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn more English.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an English teacher when I grow up.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to have super strength. 

Fun Fact:

I fell off a chair.

 

Maria Belen

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we have fun together and that we have great teachers.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to learn English.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a doctor and a translator.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to have the power of ice or to freeze things.

Fun Fact:

I always smile.

 

Ruth

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like to play and have fun with the teachers.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I hope to be a good student. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an English teacher. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to have the power of ice or to freeze things.

Fun Fact:

I am always happy!

 

Jessed

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we get to color. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to be respectful to the teachers.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a doctor. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want the ability to color people.

Fun Fact:

I like to laugh.

 

Joddiel

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we get to learn. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to pay attention during the activities.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a police officer.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I want to be the Hulk because he is strong. 

Fun Fact:

I am funny!

 

Martin

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that they teach us English for free.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn English. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a businessman.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to have super strength, so I can lift heavy things. 

Fun Fact:

I play video games when my mom isn’t at home. 

 

Andrea

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that we learn English and play with the teachers.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to learn more English.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an English teacher.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would have the power to freeze things.

Fun Fact:

I Iike to play with my toys as if they were real. 

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Your Health and Safety is Our First Priority

Traveling abroad can make even the most accomplished volunteer explorer nervous; however, with Outreach360, you will not have to be. Outreach360 offers volunteer programs for individuals of all ages and strives to provide a safe and health conscientious environment supported by staff and local community members.

Why does this matter? Because your health and safety matters to us.

Since 1994, Outreach360 has hosted over 22,000 volunteers who have enjoyed a healthy and safe volunteer experience in both the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. There are several factors that make our organization safe, including our highly trained staff, our well-accommodated facilities, and our developed community relationships. Outreach360 aims to anticipate the health needs of our volunteers before their arrival in-country, and our staff is knowledgeable of local clinics and pharmacies.

Safe Travels Are Happy Travels

Outreach360 has perfected safety practices that have maintained our volunteers’ well-being for over twenty years. We owe a lot of these practices to our full-time staff members. Outreach360 team leaders are hired from the local communities our organization is housed in.

Coco Barrett, the Outreach360 Nicaragua Country Director, explains, “I am proud that Outreach360 makes health and safety a top priority. We have a professional leadership team made up primarily of local and international staff who live in the communities where we serve and who have been trained in emergency preparedness.  We take the time to educate our volunteers about our guidelines on how to avoid accidents and for staying healthy, safe and being respectful while serving in country.  We have connections with and are respected by the Jinotega community.”

We intentionally hire local staff because we recognize that working with people who live in the country is key to ensuring your safety – they know the country, the community, and the neighborhood where you will be volunteering. Furthermore, volunteers are instructed by our staff on how to be safe while exploring a new city. We educate our volunteers on safe conduct in-country, to avoid unexpected consequences. Our staff’s insight keeps our volunteers safe in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

But wait, there’s a lot more.

Outreach360 works in two of the safest developing countries in the Western Hemisphere. We have chosen these countries with our volunteers in mind. We have worked tirelessly to build strong community relationships in the cities we work in. Having worked in Monte Cristi in the Dominican Republic since 1994, many members, businesses, and organizations in the local community have benefited from Outreach360’s efforts and are aware of our work.  The community knows us well, and we know the community.

Fun fact: Outreach360’s Executive Director, Tom Eklund, was recognized by the mayor of Monte Cristi as an honorary son of the city.

We have worked to develop strong community relationships in Nicaragua as well. Although our work in Nicaragua is more recent, Outreach360 has already made a positive impact on the local community, where the residents of Jinotega know we are making a lasting investment.  Alma Fletes, a professional Nicaraguan social worker who grew up in Jinotega, is a full-time leader with us in Nicaragua and makes sure operations run smoothly with our local relationships. Outreach360’s strong, long-term relationships in the communities where we serve are important contributing factors to the high level of safety our programs maintain.

In addition, Outreach360 intentionally houses volunteers in our facilities, where we are able to maintain safe and secure accommodations during your time volunteering.  The neighborhoods in which our volunteers stay are safe and welcoming. When necessary to accommodate busier weeks with multiple volunteer teams, Outreach360 occasionally houses volunteers in well-respected local hotels that are always a short walk away from the Outreach360 volunteer houses.

But what will you do in case of an emergency? We’ll tell you: let Outreach360 take care of you.

Our trained leaders always carry cell phones and are in communication with in-country staff and our U.S. office.  Outreach360 also takes further emergency precautions, including having a satellite phone in each country.  In the event that local cell networks are down or temporarily cut off, Outreach360 in-country staff maintains communication with our U.S. headquarters via our satellite phones. We know that safety means safe-guarding communication, and we have taken measures to ensure that assistance is just one phone call away.

Outreach360 Wants You To Be Healthy

In the decades that Outreach360 has been established, it is rare for a volunteer to become sick or injured during their volunteer experience. Regardless, Outreach360 has taken every precaution to ensure your health and wellness because you matter to us.

Our local staff is trained to address health concerns. Being with people who live in the country you are serving is key to ensuring your personal health. Our leaders keep our volunteers aware of ways to stay healthy, to drink sufficient amounts of water, and being aware of when and where to wear mosquito and bug repellent. We provide guidelines on how to avoid accidents in the area, appropriate precautions when eating in local restaurants, and general common sense guidelines to keep everyone healthy.

“One of the things I like best about this trip is that it is a great introduction to service for a lot of our kids in technically a third world environment that is still safe. We feel comfortable with them experiencing some different conditions than they are used to but in terms of how the food is prepared and the safety precautions taken we don’t feel as though we are putting them at risk and yet exposing them to an opportunity to see a completely different part of the world,” Amy Vachris, a St. Mark’s High School teacher, said.

The Outreach360 Kitchen Staff are professionally trained cooks that prepare meals for volunteers daily at the volunteer housing facilities. Our cooks are trained to cook only with purified water. Dietary needs will be accommodated during your stay in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Staff members encourage volunteers to sample local cuisine at restaurants and shops. If you do have an opportunity to eat at a local restaurant, it will be a location approved by Outreach360 staff, meaning that location has high sanitary standards. Bottled water is available 24/7 for our volunteers to help keep everyone well hydrated as well.

What about the mosquitos? Don’t believe the buzz. Outreach360 has got you covered.

We encourage our volunteers to use mosquito repellent, especially in the morning and evening. Mosquito nets or screened rooms are provided for all volunteers. Vaccinations are up to volunteer discretion. There are no required vaccinations in either the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua. A more extensive discussion of medical preparation, including links to the CDC website, is available in the Outreach360 Country Volunteer Guide. With over 22,000 volunteers joining us since 1994, we are not aware of a confirmed case of a volunteer contracting a mosquito-borne illness.

Although very uncommon, if a volunteer gets sick to the point of needing medical attention, or receives an injury, there are equipped private medical clinics near our facilities in both the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.  Staff members will point out the closest pharmacies and clinics for volunteer access during the city tour on the first day of your arrival. In case of a medical emergency, you will not go to the clinic alone. Outreach360 leaders facilitate the clinic process and assure appropriate translation for receiving treatment.

More information about Outreach360 can be found on this website: www.outreach360.org.

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Meet our New Learning Center Students: Part One

Outreach360 welcomed 50 new students to the Nicaragua Learning Center on Monday, September 25, 2017. You may recognize many of these new students as English language learning camp attendees. Now reaching late October, our new students have settled into the Outreach360 Learning Center and have experienced working with volunteers for the first time in the classroom.

We will be introducing our new students in a series of blog posts. The Nicaragua students have filled out questionnaires so that you might be able to get to know them better. We hope that their answers inspire you to get involved with Outreach360, whether that be through donating, volunteering, or sharing news and updates about Outreach360 with your family and friends.

So without further ado, here are 10 Nicaraguan students that Outreach360 has welcomed into the Learning Center Program:

 

Cesar

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like the classes and the books. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn English. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a translator and a pilot when I grow up. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to be Spiderman because he saves people. 

 

 

 

Jessy

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like how the teachers teach. I like to learn English and share the things that I am learning at the Learning Center every day with my siblings. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn even more English every day. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be the owner of my own restaurant. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to have the power to create ice because then I would get to have an ice castle like Elsa from Frozen. 

Fun Fact: 

I like to play on my patio, in my room, and in my living room. 

 

 

Cristhel

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like learning English the most. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to get good grades. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an English teacher and also a translator when I grow up. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like the have a super speed power, or the power to make ice. 

Fun Fact: 

I like to sing when I am showering! 

 

 

Jesling

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that here we have the opportunity to learn English while we are playing and having fun. We are preparing ourselves to become professional and speak English.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn English. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an English teacher and to help others learn when I grow up.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to have the power of ice to make snow.

Fun Fact: 

I always like to smile. 

 

 

Yeyling

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that the volunteers are teaching us to speak English. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to be able to speak English and be fluent. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to become fluent in English and be bilingual. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to the power to go back in time, so if I make a mistake, I can go back in time and fix it. 

Fun Fact: 

I like to play because I have fun.

 

 

Jocdany

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like Outreach360 because they teach me how to speak in English and that is something that I want for my future.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to be bilingual and to be a chef.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be bilingual. Here, they teach me a lot.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I want to be able to freeze time because if I’m late, I can change the time. 

Fun Fact: 

I am very happy!

 

 

Esperanza

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that the teachers teach us English. I like how the teachers teach us. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

I want to be able to speak English and become fluent. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a bilingual bank teller.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would like to have the power to see peoples’ future because if something bad happens, I could stop it.

Fun Fact: 

A funny fact about me would be that I like to act silly.

 

 

Felix

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like to learn English, so I can be an English professional.

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goals are to study English and be able to share my knowledge with others.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be an English teacher.

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I don´t wish for a super power because it won´t come true.

Fun Fact: 

I like to laugh a lot and I think I´m a happy person.

 

 

Esther

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like that the teachers are really nice. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to continue to be in the Learning Center next year and to be able to understand the teachers.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a singer in English and in Spanish. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to be able to fly, have laser beams, and ice breath. With these superpowers, I can save people. 

 

 

 

Francela

What do you like the most about Outreach360?

I like being able to learn English. 

What is your goal with Outreach360?

My goal is to learn more English. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a doctor. 

If you were a Superhero, what superpower would you have and why?

I would want to have super strength because I want to be strong. 

Fun Fact: 

I am very funny! 

 

Register for your next Outreach360 trip today at https://outreach360.org/registration/

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Why You Should Go On A Family Volunteer Vacation

“Our week at camp was an incredible experience for me and my children, ages 15 and 12. We saw each other as teachers, students, adventurers, and resilient volunteers instead of just parents and teenagers. We also had a safe environment to immerse ourselves in the beautiful, rich culture of the Dominican Republic, and we experienced a much different lifestyle than we have back home.” -Lisa Asseling; Outreach360 Family Vacation Volunteer. 

Family volunteering is a unique opportunity that will bring your family closer together while serving a common cause. An Outreach360 family volunteer vacation is an inclusive way to introduce your family to a foreign culture. Volunteering abroad with Outreach360 is safe for family members of all ages, including young children, young adults, parents, and grandparents. During your trip in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, you and your family members will serve real needs and together you will make a difference in underserved students’ lives.

But wait, there’s more.

Family volunteering with Outreach360 will expose your family to international service providing your loved ones with global connections that will empower and inspire. All the while, bringing your family closer together! Here are 10 reasons why you should consider going on an Outreach360 family volunteer vacation:

1. Your Family’s Safety Is Our # 1 Priority

We know that traveling abroad can raise some concerns, but please know that Outreach360 considers all of our volunteers to be members of OUR service family. We keep our family safe and out of harm’s way during their stay in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, just as you would keep your family safe at or away from home. Here’s the deal: Outreach360 family volunteer vacation safety is our top priority.  We manage our own facilities and have full-time international and local staff leading our volunteers in each country.  The local staff lives and works full-time in-country, and they facilitate the volunteer experience. Working with people who live in the country where you are serving is key to ensuring your safety – they know the country, the community, and the neighborhood where you will be volunteering.  Outreach360 also orientates all of our volunteers on basic health, safety, and respectful living guidelines that ensure family volunteer safety and ultimately to ensure that you have the best volunteer experience imaginable.

 2. Gain Cultural Insights

Although you and your family will focus on providing educational opportunities for kids, together you will gain knowledge about a different culture. It’s a common sentiment amongst Outreach360 volunteers that they leave their experience feeling they have gained as much as they have given. Here is what Anna Boyd, a former Outreach360 volunteer from Saint Stephens Episcopal School, had to say about her experience: “I have volunteered with Outreach360 4 times, and each time I feel like I learn something new. I always leave feeling as is I have received from the kids even more than I gave to them.” This cultural exchange of knowledge is what our organization strives for. The Outreach360 family volunteer vacation will benefit your family by teaching you about a new culture in the Dominican Republic and in Nicaragua.

3. Instill a Mentality of Service in Your Family

According to a study from the Public Library of Science Journal, three psychologists at the University of British Columbia found that children receive psychological benefits from giving, much like their parents do. Why does this matter? The study infers that beginning service at a young age will instill happiness, and as a result of that happiness, it will also instill a family mentality of giving back. Outreach360 family volunteers are giving back in a sustainable way through education. Sharing knowledge will provide our students with a life of choice. In addition, this exchange of knowledge will inspire your family to live a life of service.

4. Less Planning Means Less Worrying

Outreach360 gets it. International travel logistics can be a nightmare. When you choose to participate in an Outreach360 family volunteer vacation, you will not have to worry about in-country logistics. We will handle your travel transportation to and from the airport, provide you with comfortable housing, and three home-cooked meals per day. Outreach360 exists to make your volunteering abroad experience easy – it’s a turn-key approach to international service. Our staff is highly trained to accommodate all needs that your family might have, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy volunteering in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

5. Team Work Makes the Dream Work

With Outreach360, parents teach alongside their children to educate underserved students in Latin American communities. Family members will create lesson plans together, teach together, and learn together in the classroom. This environment creates a team mentality while serving. In order to reach your family’s volunteering goals, you will work as a team and support each other throughout the process. Working as a team will further encourage quality family time allowing you and your family to bond over service. You’ll discover brand-new, positive qualities about your loved ones that you never knew before.

6. Family Fun

Volunteering with Outreach360 means endless family fun. Your family will have the opportunity to explore a city abroad, climb mountains, and make a difference in dozens of students’ lives. Although you’ll have several chances to participate in the local culture, you will be surprised to find that teaching will be the highlight of your week. Outreach360 students are thrilled to share powerful intercultural experiences with volunteers of all ages. See all the ways volunteering with Outreach360 on a family volunteer vacation is fun here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1EXXzaFO5E

7. Bring it Home

After your family volunteer vacation with Outreach360, your family will want to continue making an impact in your local community and internationally. Outreach360 hopes to inspire families to continue to serve. Whether that is by returning to volunteer in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua or volunteering at home, Outreach360 aspires to create a community of global families who are committed to making a difference and giving back.

8. Inspire Others

Imagine the impact we could have if all families took one week out of their busy schedules to serve. It would cause a ripple effect of transformation! By volunteering abroad with your family, you’re likely to inspire other families around you to do the same. Avery Kit, age 8, said this after volunteering with her family: “I missed my best friend’s birthday to be here, but I am going to tell her all about being here and she is going to know why I missed her birthday. Because she knows it’s important to help people.” Simply sharing your Outreach360 story, like Avery, can empower other families to volunteer. Eventually, this will lead to a family volunteer community that is enthusiastic about direct service and positive change.

9. Empower Your Family to Empower Others

Each member of your family has different skills and talents that make them extraordinary. Outreach360 aims to allow individuals to use their skills and talents to empower students in the local community. When you volunteer as a family, you will share each others’ strengths in order to make lessons more engaging for Outreach360 students. Shawndell Hand, a former Outreach360 Family volunteer, said, “The experience will definitely have a lasting impact on how our family functions. I believe, in addition to having a much greater spirit of gratitude for our blessings, we all see one another in a new way. We each gained a better understanding of what we carry in our hearts; we have more pride about the caring and loving sides of each family member; and I forever hold the memories of watching the kind, gentle, and loving spirits that my husband and children shared with these extraordinary children of Jinotega.” Empowering your loved ones will, in turn, empower others, including Outreach360 students, staff, and local community members. This process will motivate Outreach360 students to develop their own passions and to share them with the world, making their dreams a reality.

10. Become a Global Citizen

Exposing your family to service abroad will initiate your family into the emerging world of global citizenship. With these experiences, your family will become more conscientious of the needs of the international community. Service will take on a new meaning and open doors for new beginnings for your family. An Outreach360 family volunteer vacation will cause your family to continue learning about issues around the world, and become powerful advocates for action and change

Register your family to volunteer with Outreach360 today: https://outreach360.org/volunteer/family-volunteer-vacations/

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