Dare to Dream

Summer Volunteer Programs Abroad 2018

Outreach360 has a variety of exciting volunteer opportunities for you this summer, each that strive to help educate under-served children in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Through working at local schools and the Outreach360 Learning Center, you will have the opportunity to teach children in areas you are passionate and most knowledgeable about. Not only will you be able to make a difference in these children’s lives and create lasting memories, you get to do so in our two amazing locations, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

Here is more information about our two beautiful locations along with other volunteer opportunities:

Dominican Republic
Outreach360 is stationed in the northwest region of the Dominican Republic in a small town called Monte Cristi. In Monte Cristi, you will experience the quaint fishing town with its beautiful beaches, historical salt flats, and breathtaking scenery. In addition to the sites and activities you will be immersed in on your trip here, you will also be able to interact with the local children and help to provide English education. Therefore, this volunteering is for anyone! By teaching and helping them with their English, you are unlocking countless possibilities for their success in the future.

Nicaragua
Nicaragua is one of the most scenic and safest countries in Central America. Outreach360’s Learning Center is located in the coffee growing town of Jinotega. Jinotega is also known as “The City of Mist” due to it being located in the mountains of Nicaragua. While you are a volunteer you will be able to experience the rich culture, explore beautiful locations as well as serve a very under-served part of Nicaragua. Along with teaching English to these children you also have the option to participate in construction and sustainability volunteering projects. These areas include building a new Learning Center and teaching sustainable agriculture solutions. All of these volunteer options help to prepare the Nicaraguan children for a more successful future.

But wait, there’s more!

In addition to our powerful service trips to the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua trips, we have created the Dare to Dream Summer Camp Program that expands upon these volunteer trips. This program is not only about helping to educate children but rather giving them the tools they need to grow up and be WHATEVER they want to be. Through the Dare to Dream Program children have the opportunities in a variety of areas including Art, Music, Drama, Science, Technology, Journalism, Engineering, and more! So if you have a strong passion in any of these fields or any others, you have the opportunity to shape and mold your own volunteer curriculum and bring a new skill to these children in need.

No matter what your passions are, there is a way you can incorporate them into your volunteer time with Outreach360.

Register Today!

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Learning to Serve in the Dominican Republic

Outreach360 Adelante Plus Volunteer Guest Writer: Caleb Acosta

Caleb Acosta teaches Outreach360 students in the Dominican Republic Learning Center located in Monte Cristi.

My name is Caleb Acosta, I’m from the Dominican Republic, I’m 17 years old. I grew up in a humble family, composed of five members: my dad’s name is Miguel Acosta, my mom’s name is Norma Marichal, my brother’s name is Joshua Acosta, and my sister’s name is Aidil Acosta. I want to share my Outreach360 story and how I came to be where I am today.

In 2008, I was a student at Escuela Basica John F. Kennedy in Monte Cristi. I was in third grade at this time. One day, when I was sitting in my chair watching by the window, I could see Americans in this moment. It was a group of Outreach360 volunteers inviting students to the summer camp, but I wasn’t invited to the camp because I was too young for it. I was sad about not being able to go, but at the same time, I was happy because my brother and my sister were able to go the camp. They told me everything they did in the camp and everything they learned as well. I was excited about the camp and that became part of my dream. I lived as if I had attended the camp.

Caleb smiles with his sister, Aidil Acosta, and an Outreach360 volunteer, Ryan, after teaching Learning Center students in the Dominican Republic.

In 2009, I became the right age to start the classes in Outreach360. I started my classes with my sister Aidil, and the first year was such a great year; however, the next year was different. I just wanted to play all the time with my friends, and I wasn’t enjoying the classes. It was like being a new Caleb, but that is not the only sad story. It’s good to remember that even negative things can be used; we can take them as an example and with them make a positive change that will help us to mark the path of our lives.

I remember one day in my English class that the teacher asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” For the first time, I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I was hearing all my friends saying, ‘lawyer, engineer, architect, and doctor,’  but I didn’t say anything this day and that question was circling in my head. The next day of class the teacher was talking about the verb ‘to be’, but I didn’t understand what the teacher was saying. Then she showed me a beautiful smile and she taught me one more time, and I just learned because of this smile. I learned from the love of her actions. There will be days where you will ask yourself:

What do I want to be remembered for?

What can I do for others to make a world a better place?

What is my purpose on this earth?

Caleb Acosta (left) takes a photograph with Peter, an Outreach360 Dominican Republic Learning Center student, during an English immersion camp.

Some of us probably think that our purpose is to get a lot of money, buy a big house or buy an expensive car, or get the latest cell phone of the year. Let me tell you that is not our true purpose on this earth, it is not where we’re going to find our sense of completion. The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. When you work towards something greater than yourself, you find meaning and you find purpose. When you keep people at the center of what you do, it can have an enormous impact. Deep inside of us lives a hero who wants to do something great with their life, who wants to inspire other people, and who wants to change the world. We need to use our minds, our hands, and our hearts to build something bigger than ourselves.

If you are not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time. When your life means something to somebody other than you, then you have a purpose. We need to live in service to humanity. And from the teacher’s smile, I learned all of these things and I learned the answer to the question too. What do I want to be? I want to be in service to my family, to my church, to my city, to my country, and to the world. I think that is the purest form of joy.

Caleb poses with his father, Miguel Acosta, at his 2017 high school graduation from the Colegio San Jose of Monte Cristi as the Valedictorian.

I graduated in 2012 from my Outreach360 English class, Those three years were the best years for me because I learned a new language. That wouldn’t have been possible if all the volunteers weren’t here to teach us this new language that will open the door for new opportunities for a better life. After my graduation, I become an Adelante Volunteer. As an Adelante, I serve in the program volunteering at the Learning Center. I have the opportunity to practice my English with the American and Canadian volunteers. I was an Adelante Volunteer for six years.

In 2017, I graduated from my High School the Colegio San Jose of Montecristi as the Valedictorian. I was also accepted by Outreach360 to be an Adelante Plus Volunteer. This is an online study program with an American University. I’m going to study International Business, but right now I’m getting ready to take two tests: the GED and TOEFL test. In addition to this, I’m teaching English in the Learning Center, and that is a dream come true for me. I can see how the volunteers’ work is transforming the world where every person lives a life of choice, having the vision to continue to grow, and Release the Hero Within.

Learn more about Outreach360 here: www.outreach360.org.

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Families that Dare to Dream Together Stick Together

Looking for your next family vacation getaway? We’ve got you covered. The Outreach360 2018 Dare to Dream Summer Camp is an authentic, service-learning experience made for family volunteers in both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Families who participate will have the unique opportunity to educate underserved students in subjects such as journalism, STEM fields, performing and fine arts, health sciences, business, and environmental sustainability.

But wait. There’s more.

Angela Durtschi with her son taste-testing coffee during a cultural excursion in Jinotega, Nicaragua with Outreach360.

During your trip to the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua, you and your family members will serve real needs and together you will make a difference in underserved students’ lives. The knowledge family volunteers share with students will ignite their curiosity for potential careers they may not have known existed. Furthermore, this opportunity is inclusive for everyone. Outreach360 students are eager to learn from volunteers of all ages, including young children, young adults, parents, and grandparents.

Teaching abroad can open doors for your family, and you will truly make memories that matter. The 2018 Dare to Dream Summer Camp is the perfect way to introduce your loved ones to the developing, global community in a safe environment. Being exposed to service abroad will initiate your family into the emerging world of global citizenship. With these experiences, family members will become more conscientious of the needs of the international community. More importantly, service abroad will instill your family with a mentality of service that you will take home with you.

Jacob Durtschi interacting with students in Nicaragua while serving with his family as an Outreach360 volunteer.

Angela Durtschi, an Outreach360 Family Volunteer, said, “Initially, I signed up to broaden my son’s view of the world and encourage empathy. I ended up achieving this for myself as well. We are all more alike than we are different and it´s always a great idea to remind yourself that we live in a small world.”

This opportunity is perfect for families interested in making a global difference while sharing their passion for subjects of their
choosing. This exchange of knowledge will empower your family’s personal growth by requiring them 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 broaden your family’s understanding of the world. Most importantly, it will motivate students to pursue new careers.

“This was such a good opportunity for our family to engage with people with diverse backgrounds. It put our kids in a role that their egocentrism was challenged. They worked hard and really stepped up to help other people. They were also given opportunities to learn from the kids and start to see similarities they had with the students,” Jacob Durtschi, an Outreach360 Family Volunteer, explained.

How can your family get involved? Register for the 2018 Dare to Dream Summer Camp today!

Now is the time to give back. If you register your family for the 2018 Dare to Dream Summer Camp before April 1st, Outreach360 will match your registration deposit. For more information on how to register, click here: https://outreach360.org/dare-dream-summer-camps/

 

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How Being An Outreach360 Caminos Intern Empowered Me To Travel

Outreach360 Caminos Volunteer Intern Guest Writer: Dallon Asnes

My name is Dallon Asnes. I’m a senior physics major at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. In the summer of 2015, following my first year of college, I spent eight weeks in Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic as a Caminos Intern with Outreach360.

Living for a summer in Monte Cristi was an incredible experience. It was my first time out of the U.S., my first time without the luxurious amenities to which I had previously grown accustomed, and my first time being immersed in a Spanish-speaking environment.

I had studied Spanish throughout high school but, once I got to Monte Cristi, my Spanish improved by leaps and bounds. I helped plan and direct the baseball-softball camp that summer, which meant most of my days were spent on a baseball field – which I loved – and I often had long, spontaneous conversations in Spanish with campers who all shared a similar passion for sports. Campers shared some of their favorite music with me and I’ll never forget our group sing-a-longs to Daddy Yankee or Prince Royce after a long day on the field. I was continually impressed with how well the campers could dance. Although I loved the bachata and merengue classes we had at the program center every week, I don’t think I ever learned to dance as well as them!

I often think back to hiking El Morro with our group and photographing the gorgeous beach right below us, or laughing along with the workers at the Salt Flat as I translated for our group tours. Living in Monte Cristi wasn’t all easy, however. Between mosquito bites, heat and the initial adjustment of being out of one’s comfort zone, there were times that challenged me. However, the Outreach360 staff remained open, accessible, and incredibly supportive whenever a situation arose. Many of my fond memories come from the strong sense of community those of us working with Outreach360 felt.

When I returned to college the next fall, I was craving another opportunity to live abroad. I decided to apply for the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) and the Boren Scholarship, programs that would fund either a summer or full year abroad with an intensive language study component. When I met with fellowship advisors at my school to begin discussing my application, it dawned on me how significantly my experience with Outreach360 would strengthen my applications. I had lived for an extended period in modest conditions, I had demonstrated that I could adjust to new cultures and communities and I did so while leading our summer program and other volunteers.

These experiences from Monte Cristi helped me stand out in application essays and prove myself in subsequent interviews. One of the more challenging interview questions I faced was, “What will you do while living abroad to decompress or relax?” In Monte Cristi, I frequently journaled and regularly made time to read in a quiet space. Referencing this in my response helped show what I’ve learned from this past experience and how I’m ready to apply it to future ones. Furthermore, I should mention that the staff from Outreach360 wrote me great letters of recommendation to bolster my applications.

Thanks to some of these scholarships, I’ve since had the opportunity to study in India for ten months and volunteer in Madagascar for three. While my experiences with Outreach360 helped me to earn these scholarships in the first place, lessons I learned in Monte Cristi taught me how to manage what can be difficult cultural adjustments and gave me the confidence to push through new challenges.

While I was in Monte Cristi, every day was filled with exciting, new experiences. When I think back to the summer, in addition to these fond memories, I can’t help but appreciate the influence of Outreach360 and the opportunity that a Caminos Internship proved in propelling me toward more diverse, international experiences. I encourage you to be involved in whatever capacity you can!

Register to become an Outreach360 Caminos Volunteer Intern here: https://outreach360.org/volunteer/individuals-long-term-internships/ 

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Outreach360 Caminos Volunteers Provide Sustainable Service

Outreach360 Caminos Volunteer Intern Guest Writer: Katie Sullivan

My name is Katie Sullivan and I served as a long-term volunteer for Outreach360 in Nicaragua in 2014. I hope that by sharing about my time there it will encourage some of you to go and experience the magic for yourselves!

I have spent a total of seven weeks in Nicaragua with Outreach360.  I took three week-long trips in 2013, 2014, and 2015 while a student at the College of William & Mary, as well as spent a month there as an individual volunteer in 2014.  There was something really special about the experience that kept me coming back for more.

By now you may have realized all of the wonderful things that you personally could get out of a volunteer tripthere are a lot!  They include a chance to experience a new country and culture, testing yourself outside of your comfort zone, and practicing your Spanish!  This is only the start of it.  You will also find yourself meeting inspiring people, eating delicious foodsI’m looking at you, plantainsand learning new things about yourself.  I could go on.

So yes, volunteering with Outreach360 will change your life and be one of the most meaningful and memorable experiences you ever have.  But if you’re like me and many of the other young people I traveled with as a college student, you may have another question: will the work I do really make a difference?

The international volunteer is a smart and thoughtful person.  You want to make sure that your time and money is going to an organization that is having a real and positive impact in the communities in which it works.  I’m here to tell you that yes, Outreach360 is doing great things.  How do I know?

1. Education is the key to empowerment.

When communities are educated, they are uplifted in a sustainable way.  Educated children go on to get higher-paying jobs and then give their money and skills back to their community as adults.  By using education as their means of serving, Outreach360 is creating a generation that will change their situation for themselves.

2. Every volunteer makes a difference.

I think a lot of people are discouraged from a service trip because they think they cannot have any impact in a short amount of time.  One of Outreach360’s ten principles is about just this: “Poco a poco [little by little]”.  You may not change the world or even one child’s life while you’re there, but your work combined with that of the volunteers who came before you and will come after you are the total package.  Don’t get discouraged; it takes real people committing and going to make this difference!  If you serve as a long-term or Caminos volunteer, you’re more likely than ever to see real change over time.

One week I worked closely with a student named Marlon, who needed extra attention in English at the time (there we are above).  Marlon was struggling to learn new vocabulary words and there was a test coming up, so I worked with him constantly.  Like I said, he didn’t become fluent in a week but seeing the progress that one student could make with a little one-on-one time lifted my spirits and gave me a lot of confidence.  The more volunteers, the more one-on-one time the kids get.  This is why we need YOU!

3. You don’t have to be a professional English teacher to volunteer.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but it really is enough that you speak English and just want to work hard.  Especially when working with children, immersion is the most effective way of teaching a foreign language.  Studies show that children have brains like a sponge when it comes to acquiring language, so the quickest path to fluency for them is to hear a language all the time.  As a result, just by speaking English with your students you are teaching them.  Staff members will make sure that you are following their curriculum and that your lesson plans are up to snuff.  That said, professional teachers are more than welcome and always contribute immensely as volunteers!

4. Learning English will change lives in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

It opens doors to lucrative industries like tourism.  The future employment possibilities for Outreach360 students are greatly expanded by their English skills.  So they’ll get those higher-paying jobs one day and have new opportunities as a result.  Your students could even become foreign diplomats one day!  Dream big!

5. Outreach360 has a great relationship with local communities.

It was important to me when I first arrived in Nicaragua to see that Outreach360 employs a number of locals.  This inclusion of voices from the community ensures that the organization is working toward goals that are really wanted in the area.   I have seen that as Outreach360 expands in Nicaragua, so too does the number of locals they involve in their projects.  Additionally, staff members have regular contact with the parents of their students, giving them a voice in their children’s education.

So, if you’ve been on the fence about volunteering internationally, I’m telling you that Outreach360 is the place for you.  Take this opportunity to be a long-term or Caminos volunteer and help be the change!

Register to become an Outreach360 Caminos Volunteer Intern here: https://outreach360.org/volunteer/individuals-long-term-internships/

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Outreach360 Offers Internship Opportunities Abroad

In Spanish, Camino means path or road, and in the Outreach360 Caminos Internship Program, volunteers play a crucial role in providing a path out of poverty for underserved children in Latin America. Caminos volunteers will be working in the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua for eight weeks or more to provide powerful and meaningful education programs that pave the way to a new way of life for the children we serve; a life with options; a life of choice. And, as you journey with Outreach360 in empowering children to transform their lives, you’ll discover that they have transformed yours.

Outreach360 Caminos Volunteer Interns are service-minded individuals with a variety of backgrounds and interests. As a Caminos Volunteer, you will serve with an emphasis of your choosing in education, communication, marketing, and leadership that will enhance your training and development. Interns will lead the 2018 Summer Dare to Dream camps and will teach classes on STEM, performing and fine arts, journalism and communications, environment and sustainability, and business.

Education in these subjects provides Outreach360 students with ample amounts of opportunities in their future careers. Your participation in the 2018 Summer Dare to Dream camps will empower students to continue their education, thus further leading them on a path to live a life of choice.

But wait. That’s not all.

Here are 6 things you will gain by becoming an Outreach360 Caminos Volunteer Intern:

Knowledge About Sustainable Development

Outreach360 believes education is the best sustainable solution to combat poverty in Latin America and provide the children we serve with long-term opportunities to transform their own lives; however, we recognize that is more easily said than done. In order to ensure that our organization is sustainable in the communities we serve in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, we take measured steps towards educating groups of students who might one day take on our program, allowing us to pass on our teacher torches. Poco a poco. Caminos Volunteer Interns will take part in this journey towards sustainable development.

 Experience Personal Growth

The Outreach360 Caminos Volunteer Internship will empower your personal growth. Bella Winston, a former Outreach360 Caminos Volunteer Intern, said, “My Caminos Volunteer experience was the most amazing two months of my life. I absolutely loved living in Jinotega, working with the kids, and spending time with other members of the Outreach360 community. This program has inspired me to work hard for the benefit of others and not only myself, appreciate and love the life I have been given, and appreciate the little moments rather than only focusing on big goals.” Your experience volunteering abroad with Outreach360 will transform you in a positive way. You’ll take away powerful, life lessons that you will carry with you for a lifetime.

 Develop Global Awareness

Exposing yourself to service abroad as a Caminos Intern 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. Service will take on a new meaning and open doors for new beginnings. The Outreach360 Caminos Volunteer Program will inspire you to continue learning about issues around the world, and become a powerful advocate for action and change

 Strengthen Your Leadership Skills

Volunteering abroad for a long period of time is a true test of character, but Outreach360 Caminos Interns rise to the challenge. “The Caminos Program was amazing; it is the best way to spend the summer. Even more so, it was helpful because I developed new leadership qualities in myself. Leading adults who are older than you; kids who are tinier than you; it all really builds your character,” Ollie Smith, a former Outreach360 Caminos Volunteer Intern, explained. Your volunteering experience in the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua will develop your leadership skills. 

 Experience Culture Through Cultural Interactions

Outreach360 works to create an immersive experience that Caminos Volunteers will remember for a lifetime.  The Caminos Volunteer Program will expand your cultural and global knowledge. Although you will become an Outreach360 teacher for eight weeks or more, you will also be learning about the unique cultures of the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua in an immersive setting. Outreach360 Caminos Volunteers gain cultural insights through our volunteer programming, which includes informational documentaries, interactive discussions about Latin American culture from Outreach360 mentors, and cultural excursions.

 Make a Difference in the Lives of Underserved Students

The countries in which Outreach360 serves are beautiful; however, it is of the utmost importance to Outreach360 that volunteers understand that their time abroad is used to serve. In order to create a sustainable program in which students can grow up to live a life of choice, Caminos Volunteer Interns participate in direct service, not voluntourism. The impact that Outreach360 volunteers leave on students will pave the way for more knowledge and growth in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Your decision to volunteer abroad will pave the way for underserved children to accomplish their dreams.

Discover more about the Outreach360 Caminos Volunteer Internship here: https://outreach360.org/volunteer/individuals-long-term-internships/

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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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Helping Bring Major League Baseball Advice to Life

If you had the opportunity to casually chat with a bunch of Major League baseball players, what would you want to ask them?  Maybe you’d want to know what it feels like to step up to the plate in front of 46,000 screaming fans during a critical late-inning moment of a World Series game.  Or, maybe you’d just be curious to know how awesome it must feel to sign autographs for adoring fans and effortlessly throw baseballs like laser beams!  Well, in anticipation of Outreach360’s inaugural baseball and softball camps that will be taking place this summer, Bryson Adams (Outreach 360 Marketing Director) and I have been in Arizona for the last nine days visiting with Dominican baseball players from around the Major Leagues, and the question that we have been asking each of these ballplayers is this: “What advice and encouragement do you have for the kids growing up back home in the Dominican Republic?”

From wide-eyed Dominican minor leaguers to decade-long veterans of the Major Leagues, the messages these accomplished ballplayers wish to send back to the youth in the Dominican Republic are pretty consistent:  study, do your schoolwork, be respectful of your family, community, and teachers, work hard, be disciplined, stay off the streets, don’t let negative peer pressure influence you, and, very importantly, have confidence and faith that you can achieve your dreams no matter how humble your origins may be.  Few, if any, of the ballplayers have given specific baseball related advice.  Instead of talking baseball, the players have talked about skills that are going to lead to success whether somebody is on the field, in the classroom, or in the working world.

I know our softball and baseball camps this summer in the Dominican Republic are going to bring countless smiles to the faces of the kids we serve.  I also know these kids are going to develop and further refine their ball skills.  But, what I am most excited about is having the opportunity to join as a team with other volunteers in order to use sport as a vehicle to help deliver life skills and enriching experiences to kids who might not otherwise have these opportunities.

The professional Dominican ballplayers Bryson and I have spoken with may have been the ones to provide the advice/encouragement to kids back home in the Dominican Republic, but Outreach360 volunteers are the ones who are going to have an opportunity to bring that advice/encouragement to life and really light a spark for the kids we serve.  Being able to play and share the sport you love with people from a different culture definitely plants the seeds of friendship and provides powerful opportunities for positive intercultural exchange.

No matter your skill level in pelota, as Dominicans like to call baseball, I know that each and every volunteer who comes down to the Dominican Republic will have the chance to really make a difference, whether it be giving a tip on how to field a ground ball, assisting kids in resolving a conflict, encouraging and modeling teamwork, or just simply sharing a high five celebration after a nice hit.  Not all of us will get the chance to swing for the fences in a Major League game and sign autographs for the fans, but we can all contribute something positive to the life of a child.

 – Conor Arthur, Baseball and Softball Program Director

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