College

Outreach360 Invites Journalism and Communication Majors Abroad

Outreach360 students are interested in exploring career opportunities in communication and journalism fields. Volunteering abroad in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic will not only open doors for children interested in these subjects, but it will also open doors for Communications and Journalism majors by expanding their knowledge of their focus subject on a global scale. Outreach360 invites Communication and Journalism majors to serve abroad and teach communication and journalism classes to underserved children in Latin America at the 2018 Dare to Dream Summer Camp.

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 communications and journalism.

Graham Hunt, an Outreach360 Communications OLÉ with an emphasis in photography and videography, says, “I think that multilingual education has a lot to do with global citizenship, and I think that global citizenship and journalism go hand-in-hand.  As the world grows more connected, we are more and more responsible for one another; our actions have ripple effects far beyond our local communities.  As such, as members of this increasingly interdependent global community, we have a deep responsibility to inform ourselves about what’s going on in the world.”

This opportunity is perfect for college students interested in making a global difference while sharing their passion for communication and journalism. 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 communication and journalism educational programs that pave the way to a new life for the children we serve.

Graham goes on to say, “I think it’s important that young people everywhere learn about news and newsmaking.  I think it’s crucial that the new generation gain an understanding of the importance of journalism in the public debate, and more important still that they grow up with the critical thinking skills to evaluate and interpret the information with which they are presented.  And I think that as teachers educating a new generation of global citizens, Outreach360 volunteers with a background in journalism represent a great asset, a resource our students can tap as they grow into informed and critical global citizens.”

Teaching abroad can open doors for college students. 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 a 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 communication and journalism practices and how they can be applied within the international community. This exchange of knowledge will empower your personal growth of knowledge in communication and journalism fields by requiring you to think outside the box in order to teach 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 communications and journalism professional. Most importantly, it will motivate students to pursue careers in communications and journalism.
For more information about how you can get involved with Outreach360, visit this website: www.outreach360.org
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Outreach360 Offers 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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College Student “Profits” Big from Non-Profit Work

College of William & Mary student Trey Mastaler reads with a Nicaraguan student in the Outreach360 Learning Center located in Jinotega, Nicaragua.

College of William & Mary student Trey Mastaler traveled to Nicaragua in August 2017 as an individual volunteer with Outreach360.Trey has volunteered with Outreach360 three times since 2016. He decided to volunteer with Outreach360 as an individual volunteer before the start of his Senior year of college. He says that he could not think of any better way to end the summer than with non-profit volunteer work with Outreach360.

“Outreach360 has given me such an appreciation for things that we have in the United States, like education that we take for granted. It’s also given me a second family. It’s given me friends in different places. It’s given me people I can talk to. That’s why I keep coming back,” Trey explained.

Trey taught English immersion classes to 37 Nicaraguan students from the German Pomares neighborhood located in Jinotega. He taught lessons that engaged students in reading and writing skills. Together with his volunteer partners, Mastaler encouraged students to aspire to reach their full potential in the classroom.

Trey says, “Each time I come here, the students’ English gets so much better. When I see the looks on the students’ faces at the end of the week or when they are just grasping a new concept, that’s everything for me.”

Outreach360 welcomes individual volunteers, like Trey, to serve in impoverished areas in Latin America. Each trip that Trey has participated in has offered new life lessons for him to take home; however, ultimately, he greatly admires Nicaraguans’ positivity and determination in the face of adversity.

“Being here and realizing how a lot of these people take every day as a gift and they say when something bad happens, ‘Okay. Tomorrow is a new day’. It’s an all-new perspective that I have had and that’s something I try to do now. If today was tough, I say tomorrow is a new day,” Trey said.

Volunteering abroad provides a unique opportunity for college students. With Outreach360, college students take on the role of a teacher to educate underserved students in Nicaraguan communities. Trey found himself pleasantly surprised that he enjoyed teaching younger students after his first experience volunteering with Outreach360. Having always imagined himself teaching at a higher level, he said that he felt shocked that he favored working with the students on basic grammar and language structure.

Trey enjoys the unpredictability of teaching as well. Although he admits that most lessons do not go as planned, he loves the challenge of working in an English language classroom. He recalls a lesson that he taught in the Learning Center about detective vocabulary terms. Despite not knowing what most of the new words meant, one student wrote an elaborate story about an international terrorist, completely catching him off guard.

It’s moments like these Trey looks back on and laughs. Waking up each day and not knowing how the day is going to go keeps volunteers on their toes, he explains. he would not want to volunteer any other way.

Trey said, “The opportunity to work with Outreach360 and be here in Nicaragua has been the blessing and joy of a lifetime. Every single day I think about these kids.”

Trey is already planning his next volunteer experience with Outreach360 for January 2018. He is looking forward to spending more time with the Nicaraguan Learning Center students, but he is unsure of when he will be returning to volunteer again.

“I don’t know if or when I’ll be back after this upcoming January. My God, I don’t know how I am going to keep it together when I leave. Jinotega might want to stock up on its tissues,” he jokes.

More information about Outreach360 can be found here: www.outreach360.org.

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I Started a Team From Scratch!

Penn State 2017 graduate Alyssa Gehman reads with a Nicaraguan student in the Outreach360 Learning Center located in Jinotega, Nicaragua.

Penn State Alumni Alyssa Gehman traveled to Jinotega, Nicaragua for two weeks in August 2017 as an individual volunteer for Outreach360. This was Alyssa’s first time traveling to Nicaragua as an individual volunteer, whereas in the past she has traveled with large groups of fellow college classmates. Alyssa has volunteered with Outreach360 five times since her first trip to Nicaragua in March of 2014. What makes Alyssa so remarkable is her dedication to volunteering with Outreach360, which ultimately has inspired her to lead large groups of Penn State underclassmen to volunteer in Nicaragua without administrative support.

Interacting with the kids is what keeps her coming back, she says. Alyssa’s experiences volunteering with Outreach360 prompted her to lead not one, but two volunteer trips from Penn State. Most notably in the winter of 2016, she pioneered a volunteer trip for 16 people from Penn State as a Campus Representative intern with Outreach360.

“It was like having a part-time job on top of school, on top of having an actual job, and on top of everything else going on, but it was the best thing I ever did. I loved it,” Alyssa remembers.

Alyssa was inspired to share the Outreach360 volunteer experience with her fellow Penn State classmates after having participated in volunteer trips with Penn State Altoona’s student-run service organization called Students Committed to Service. Although she had organizational support on the Penn State Altoona campus, that was not the case at Penn State.

Alyssa explains, “I started from nothing. I had no organization, had no funds, had no special way to advertise. It was all just through word of mouth and maybe a few posters. Somehow, after months of work, I had a huge group of 16 people willing to volunteer.”

Alyssa taught English immersion classes to 37 Nicaraguan students from the German Pomares neighborhood located in Jinotega during these trips. Her group engaged the students in creative lessons that encouraged the kids to get on their feet. Together, she and her Penn State classmates made learning fun.

The rewards for leading such a trip empowered Alyssa to become a leader on her campus. Affectionately known as the “Nicaragua Girl” at Penn State, she embraced her love of service by sharing her experiences with everyone who would listen.

“Realizing that I could do it by myself was amazing. I love leading other people, kind of being the ‘mom’ of the group, and sharing my passion. I’m so happy I got to bring a group down otherwise I would have had to go by myself or I might not have even gone,” Alyssa stated.

The best part about her experiences with Outreach360 over the years has been the number of forever friends that she has brought back home with her. She recalls a memory with her now best friends after they ran down the streets of Jinotega to get a smoothie on their last day in the country. They barely made it back to the volunteer house before nightfall, but the smoothie was worth the mad dash, she says. It’s simple moments like these that have brought Alyssa closer to her Outreach360 volunteer family.

Outreach360 welcomes pioneer volunteers, like Alyssa, to serve in impoverished areas in Latin America year-round. Alyssa says the opportunity to work with Outreach360 will push you outside of your comfort zone, but the trip is worth the travel. She hopes that other volunteers will feel inspired enough to lead trips of their own one day.

“Outreach360 has changed my life. I don’t know where I would be if I never came on this trip. I’ve learned so much about myself. I learned my purpose in life. I’ve met so many amazing people that I will probably be friends with forever. I’ve learned so much about what I want to do and who I want to be as a person after I came here,” she said.

More information about Outreach360 can be found here: www.outreach360.org.

 

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More Than Just a Field Trip in Nicaragua

As a Caminos volunteer this past summer in Nicaragua, I had the privilege of sharing many wonderful experiences with the students in the learning program. We shared a wonderful celebration of International Children’s Day with a party that included “pin the heart on the student” and salsa lessons, we shared the joy and excitement of seeing a helicopter fly over the learning center one day as we were singing songs at recess, and we shared endless amounts of laughter as the students learned what it means to hit turbulence. What ended up being my favorite and most cherished shared experience was the field trip to Managua that we took the children on towards the end of the summer.

These students have been in this learning program for three years, so at this point they know how things work. They know when we will have a celebration instead of class, they somehow always know who the upcoming week’s volunteers will be, and they know that every summer they get to go on a field trip. So, in the weeks leading up to the trip, they were ecstatic. They could barely contain their excitement. They couldn’t stay in their seats or pay attention to the lessons we planned, and all they could talk about was the field trip. Two days before, one of the students said to me, “Teacher Lucy, I know what I am going to wear; my Outreach360 t-shirt, shorts, my tennis shoes, a hat and my sunglasses.”

As an upper middle class American who attended a small charter school from Kindergarten to 8th grade, and was involved in many organizations apart from that, I am a seasoned veteran when it comes to field trips. Having been on countless field trips myself, and having taken the refugee children that I work with in the summer when I am home, I was sure that this one would be just like the rest of them. I was anticipating a quiet bus ride full of sleeping students, and a long day full of standing around listening to people talk while having to make sure bored kids don’t wander off. What I didn’t realize was that this was going to be a field trip unlike any I had experienced before, and one of the most rewarding days of my life.

We arrived at the learning center at 5 am, only to be greeted by the students in their very best attire waiting patiently, but excitedly, to get on the bus that they had been assigned to. The boys were fully equipped with mounds of gel holding their hair in just the right place, and the girls had all sorts of hair bows and clips, some even had their hair straightened. The bus rides did not include sleeping students, but students pretending that the two busses were racing, cheering for the bus drivers by saying “Si se puede!” or “Yes you can!”, and singing silly songs at the top of their lungs. This was all before 8 am.

What followed was a very long, very hot day of making our way around the city of Managua. We stopped at the airport, a retired airplane, walked through a historical plaza, went on a boat ride and finished the day with dinner at McDonald’s. The attitude the students had throughout the day was amazing to me. It was a smoldering day in the middle of July, and we were outside, many of the students were wearing long pants, but not once did I hear any of them complain. They never said a word about how hot they were or how hungry or how tired. They were all so excited and so happy to be there that they were content to just be, no matter the circumstances.

I don’t think I can emphasize enough how long of a day this was. We started it at 5 am and it didn’t end until 9:30 pm. That being said, it was also one of the greatest days I’ve ever lived. Being able to be a part of such an exciting day in the students’ lives and seeing everything we taught them culminate in something as sensational as being able to experience the things they learned about was something I would have never dreamt would happen before this summer.

The students’ excitement and curiosity could be felt by everyone around them throughout the entire day, and honestly throughout the entire summer. The growth that I saw in the students this summer not only in their English skills but also as people was incredibly fulfilling, and the relationships I formed with them, as well as the other volunteers, are so special to me. I know that after this summer, I have a second family in Jinotega that will welcome me back whenever I get the chance to return. And believe me, I will be returning.

As my counterpart Jessica Mathias so eloquently put it, “Jinotega is a home to me now. Come see why.”

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I will choose to look differently at the world today.

The wonderful thing about Outreach360 is that it gives anyone the opportunity to invest in another person’s life.  As a typical American, I came to Nicaragua this summer with a whole bag of assumptions that my role would be a superhero to those less fortunate. Thankfully, I was quickly corrected in my thinking. The magic of Outreach360 is that it equips people to be on an equal playing field. As those that are born into wealth, it is hard to comprehend that others that are not are still as able, happy, and capable. It’s a shame that such an assumption is made without any true knowledge of the vast variety of nations and ethnic groups we have in our one small world.

As a Caminos volunteer this summer, the thing that struck me most was the repetition of this one small assumption that plagues the lives of each visitor that comes to our humble Volunteer House. They marveled each week at the electricity, cleanliness, and general joy that permeates the area. Each week we would grin, nod, and listen to their thoughts and say yes, it’s a great way to broaden your understanding, isn’t it? To me, this was the most crucial thing you could learn from a trip like this. These kids have rescued us from a life of believing that our one small piece of this planet contains all of life’s answers. We teach kids to dream, but they taught me to dream differently.

And so, that is reason enough for anyone to come and try this thing we call ‘stepping out of our comfort zones’. It’s a huge decision to say, I will choose to look differently at the world today. However it is an essential way to becoming a person who can love anyone. That is the beauty behind a wonderful program like Outreach360- besides the fact that it is well run, well done, and so easy to fall in love with. It teaches you what love looks like past your current understanding. I urge anyone that stumbles upon this blog to not hesitate on an experience like this. It doesn’t matter your credentials or your abilities, all you need is a heart and room to let it grow.

Jinotega is a home to me now. Come see why.

Nos vemos pronto,
(See you soon)

Jessica Mathias
Caminos Summer Intern 2015
Nashville, TN

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Reflections from an Outreach360 Adelante Volunteer…

​During my time with this program I have been experiencing the real meaning of sacrifice, service, and what it really takes to release the hero within.
The impact that every single volunteer who comes to Montecristi has in each student is amazing. The kids can feel the energy that their teachers bring to teach each class. For me it’s incredible to see how their knowledge increases which inspires me to keep volunteering here and loving it more every day.
I’m pretty sure that there is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others and that’s what OUTREACH 360 is doing in the lives of the children and the whole community.
The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something.  Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.
Gordon B. Hinckley once said: ” The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: he or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.”
Definitely my experience as an Adelante Volunteer has changed my life.
Aidil Acosta
(Adelante Volunteer)

Note: Aidil graduated from our English program in 2012 and began serving as an Adelante volunteer in 2013. Adelantes are graduates of our English program who volunteer at our Learning Centers after school and during their school breaks. Since 2013, Aidil has served more than 380 hours in our Learning Centers. As an Adelante she has served in many different leadership roles, including as a Spanish literacy teacher, co-English teacher, and co-camp director. Aidil is an incredible role model for our students and volunteers. She is very passionate about service and making a difference in her own community. Aidil is currently a freshman studying pre-medicine in Santo Domingo. During her breaks, she returns to Monte Cristi to volunteer with Outreach360. She aspires to one day use her medical degree to make a difference and serve under-resourced communities.

Sarah Edwards
Outreach360 Country Director
Dominican Republic

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Not Your Average Spring Break

Taylor Baker is currently a junior at Pepperdine University, where she is an international studies major – specializing in management.  Along with eight fellow Pepperdine students, she recently served with Outreach360 in the Dominican Republic through the university’s Project Serve initiative.  This is her story:

As I thought about my spring break plans this year, I knew I wanted to do something that would allow me to give back and challenge me to some degree. Pepperdine University partners with Outreach360 every year, and when I was informed of the opportunity to serve for a week in the Dominican Republic and work directly with the community, I jumped at it. I spent my sophomore year of college studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and traveled extensively throughout South America, so I had this preconceived notion about what to expect. But I was wrong; the experience exceeded my expectations far more than I could have imagined. Now, I know it doesn’t sound like your traditional college spring break trip to the Caribbean, but I didn’t want that because I knew I could always hang out with my friends whenever I wanted. I wanted to capitalize on my time as a young individual and spend this week doing something meaningful and give back.

Free Time

Being from the suburbs of Southern California, I never thought I would actually awake to the cluck of roosters until it happened this morning. After the lovely wakeup call, my fellow team member and I set out on a run at 6:30am – just before sunrise. We ran down to the pier surrounded by a gorgeous view, calm waters, wandering dogs, and the sun peeping through the clouds just above the palm trees. I don’t often like to run in the mornings, but with all those rice and bean dishes paired with nightly ice cream runs, I figured I might as well.

Outreach360 took care of us by providing three meals a day plus snacks, allowing for free time every day – all of which we spent at the beach, showing us two documentary films, instructing a cultural dance lesson, taking us to the international trade market between Haiti and the DR, which is monitored by the UN, and taking us on a hike/beach excursion. This was definitely a mutually beneficial experience for both the volunteers and the children, and I’m thankful I was able to play a role in the process.

Challenges

Upon meeting the rambunctious students, there was an apparent stark difference in the classroom cultures of the US and the DR. It definitely felt like the students had free reign of the classroom, particularly during the first day or two. However, as the week went by we realized how much potential they had and that, when their energy was channeled correctly, they thrived. As we built trust, respect, and rapport with them throughout the week, it was then that we were truly able to teach the students while learning from them at the same time. We may have also received a couple braids and flowers in our hair during recess. Love was our primary form of communication despite our differing first languages.

The hours passed by so slowly, but the days flew by. Being completely unplugged from technology for a week was very freeing. Not having to worry about staying in touch with people or making plans has been a nice change in pace. I always love a good change in pace, and I believe it’s something I need to seek more often. Periods of transition always allow room for adaptation and growth.

This trip was very enjoyable, and I am pleased to have worked with a fantastic staff. It has also been very challenging. These challenges, however, were both normal and necessary. They occurred because I was out of my comfort zone and therefore forced to grow. I have a newfound respect for teachers and this profession as this week was not easy. I also love the idea of a siesta and think the US should adapt this part of the Dominican culture (everyone needs a little nap once in a while).

It’s not about me

There’s a lot to be gained when you give a little. I quickly put into perspective my problems back at home. I realized that I was complaining about the papers I had to write and the tests I had to study for, when these kids were thankful for the mere opportunity to be in school. I also quickly learned that the “lesson plan” for the day really wasn’t the most important thing; interactions were more important. We created a space where they felt cared about, loved, and inspired. I was reminded that it wasn’t about me: how tired and hungry I was or how many mosquito bites I had. It was about serving the children and representing hope, trust, and faith. I encourage anyone who is able and willing to be challenged and give back to volunteer with Outreach360.

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Bright Shirts, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose

Beth Anderson is a senior majoring in child and adolescent development psychology at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). She is also an alternative break trip coordinator for SNHU’s Center for Community Engaged Learning.  Together with 13 other women from SNHU, Beth recently served with Outreach360 in the Dominican Republic for two weeks.   -Photo by Jaimie Konowitz

It was the first day of camp, and I was shocked at how nervous I was. I had been preparing for this trip longer than the two hours spent lesson planning the night before, so I thought I was ready. But no amount of preparation could get rid of the mariposas in my stomach. What would camp be like? What would the students be like? How is our group going to do? Will they even like us? I had so many lingering questions as I walked the dirt road towards Escuela Básica John F. Kennedy on that first day. We arrived with plenty of time to spare. Station leaders and team leaders split up to get everything ready for the students’ arrival. It was nine o’ clock, the time camp is supposed to start and we had no one at camp; that was also the day we learned what “Dominican time” meant. We kept our hopes high and, sure enough, students started coming at about ten past nine. My nervousness started to fade once the first “repeat-after-me” song began.

After camp songs and opening, everyone went to their spots and my co-team leader, Alli, and I took our group to the recreation station to learn how to play volleyball. We had two girls in our group, and we could tell they were shy. They didn’t know us, and we didn’t know them, and here we all were trying to teach and learn together. And then something happened that changed everything: The girls started laughing and pointing at one of the drawings that the recreation station had made. At first we were all confused, and then I looked at the picture and realized the person in the drawing didn’t have eyes. I began to laugh at the hilarity of it all. It was completely unexpected but completely necessary in that moment. This was not where we thought the lesson was going to go, but it was so funny. Their laughter was contagious. Soon we were all laughing, and the tension all of us had been feeling faded away. In that moment we became the students. Here were these two little girls with five teachers, and they were the ones making us feel comfortable. They felt our nervousness; saw the eagerness in our eyes, and through their laughter they were telling us to relax and have fun with it. They broke down our barriers and allowed us to be just as silly and goofy as they were being. Their laughter was common ground for us; it was something we all understood and could grasp on to.

I realized in that moment that you can plan as much as you want, but the best moments are the unplanned ones. It’s the high fives when a student gets the sentence right. It’s explaining something you don’t even know. It’s singing the same camp song countless times because they love it. It’s them scrunching their nose when they don’t understand but then seeing their big smiles when they do. It’s all of that and more.

Watching the students’ growth in just two weeks was incredible. From mastering everything we gave them to becoming more comfortable with us, I thought the change in them would be subtler, but they proved me wrong. Many days I was even wondering if I was the teacher or the student. They challenged me in more ways than I can count. But what moved me the most about every single one of them was that they wanted to be there. They wanted to learn and interact with us as much as we wanted to learn and interact with them. That eagerness to learn and that desire to grow will last longer than our time in Monte Cristi, and that makes it all worth it.

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