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Outreach360 Students in Nicaragua Need Your Support

Due to civil unrest that started in April 2018, our Learning Center in Nicaragua has been operating with minimal funding and without international volunteers for almost a year. The funding gap this has created is significant and needs to be closed in order for us to keep our Learning Center in Nicaragua open through the end of 2019. That’s why Outreach360 will be participating in Arizona Gives Day for the first time since 2015. By scheduling a donation to Outreach360 through Arizona Gives Day we can not only raise the necessary funds together but also help Outreach360 win an additional $1,000 for having the most pre-scheduled donations on April 2nd.

Despite having to close our Volunteer Program and therefore going without international volunteers and the funds they typically bring with them, we have worked hard to ensure that our students are able to continue learning with us; we have maintained our regular Monday – Friday schedule for all of our students. Our in-country staff and local volunteers are stretched and have shown great perseverance and creativity as they work with our students. They are doing a great job keeping our students engaged and learning. Currently, our students are studying hard for their final exams for their English levels. We have placed a lot of emphasis on their English writing skills as well as promoting good reading skills. In addition to our English programming, we have also been able to continue focusing on Spanish Literacy and Math. 

Last year we held a successful fundraising campaign called “87 Heroes” and raised the funds needed to operate our Learning Center through to the end of 2018. We don’t currently have enough monthly sponsors to cover the full costs associated with operating our Learning Center and now that we are approaching almost a year without our international volunteers, we have an urgent call to raise the necessary funds to cover our funding gap of $40,000 in order to keep our Learning Center open through the end of 2019. We can’t imagine having to close our doors on our students but that could become a reality if we aren’t able to raise the necessary funds. 

Your donation will help ensure that our students in Nicaragua are able to continue to attend Learning Center classes Monday through Friday, have access to the incredible educational opportunities Outreach360 has to offer, and ultimately, have a path towards a Life of Choice, be it vocational training or a university degree, through Outreach360’s Adelante+ program. Participation in this fundraiser is very easy:
1. Go to https://www.azgives.org/outreach360
2. Click the “Donate” button.
3. Fill out the donation form on the following page and be sure to click the “Scheduled for AZ Gives Day” button under Donation Type. 
4. Share this incredible opportunity (and instructions) to keep our Learning Center open for the students in Nicaragua with your personal network! 

There are so many great ways to help keep the Learning Center in Nicaragua open. Here are just a few:
Donate your birthday to Outreach360 on Facebook or with our own fundraising platform.
Ask and enroll your friends and family to donate to AZ Gives Day.
Become a monthly Touch the Future Student Sponsor!

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Ana Jimenez, Outreach360 graduate and future teacher!

My name is Ana. I am 20 years old.
When I was 7 or 8 years old, I started to attend Outreach360’s neighborhood camps. I remember how fun it was to be there, singing songs and playing. When I was 9 years old, I started the English program. I graduated in 2012 after four years of studying.

Right now I am an Adelante + Serve/Study Student at Outreach360. I teach in our Learning Center, I help volunteers teach, and I am studying to go to university. I am also the Program Director for our Spanish literacy program, which has 74 new students. As Program Director, I help to improve the Spanish reading and writing of our new students before they enter the English program.

Outreach360 for me is a place where I see hope and self-improvement. It is a place for opportunities and breaking barriers. I remember participating in a spelling bee when I was in my third year in the Outreach360 program. I was so nervous and I did not think I could win. But in the end, the unexpected happened, and I won second place! That was one of the happiest moments in my whole life.

I want to be a teacher because I like to help others. At Outreach360, I learned the value of education, helping the students to overcome their fears and believe in themselves, and helping them achieve their dreams. All of this has inspired me to make the most important decision of my life, to become a teacher. I want to be a language or history teacher because I love to learn new languages to connect with other countries and I love to see what happened in the past to make the present right now. History is important to know. 

I hope to see the students become leaders like me. I want to see them reach their goals. I want to see them happy! Outreach360 is just the beginning for me and our students as well.

To sponsor Ana and help cover the costs of her tuition, books, etc. contact us at donor@outreach360.org
To learn more about our volunteer program in the Dominican Republic, visit, www.outreach360.org/dominican-republic/

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An Interview with Adelante Plus Student Aidil

Aidil Acosta (21) is an Adelante Plus student with Outreach360. She is currently studying medicine at a university in the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, on her way to becoming a doctor. During her breaks from school, Aidil returns to her hometown, Monte Cristi, to teach English and Spanish literacy to Outreach360 students in the Learning Center where she spent much of her own childhood! As a Serve-Study student, Aidil receives an Outreach360 sponsorship to cover the costs of her schooling.

Since I was around 8 years old I was participating in Outreach360 camps, but officially I started at the Learning Center when I was 12. I graduated from the Learning Center in 2012 and now I am studying medicine at the  Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD). 

What does Outreach360 mean to you? 
Outreach360 means hope to me, it means future and an open door to limitless opportunities.

Why is education important? 
For me, education is important because it gives us knowledge of the world around us and changes it into something even better. It develops in us a perspective of looking at life. It helps us build opinions and have points of view on things in life. It makes us capable enough to understand the world and its habitats and respect everything and everyone in a better way.

How do you see Outreach360 volunteers making an impact in Monte Cristi? 
The work done by the volunteers throughout the years has impacted my life. From teaching me English and showing me, always with a smile and a good attitude, that there is so much more than what I could see in this small city, that there was so much more out there that I could see and experience, and that my dreams were never too big, because everything is possible for those who believe and work hard to pursue their dreams. I believe this kind of impact is what the volunteers are having with all of the kids they come in contact with and not only them but also their families.

What is your favorite memory growing up with Outreach360? 
My favorite memory growing up with Outreach360 is getting to meet so many wonderful people (the volunteers) from different places and that I had the opportunity at such a young age to make many friends from other parts of the world that I never even knew about.

What is your dream for your future?
My dream is to become a doctor and help my people and change people’s lives by giving back with what grace I have received: love and service. 

Is service important to you? Service is very important to me because service teaches one to be selfless. An act of service allows a person to think first about the needs of others and then to consider how he or she may be of help. Service is the selfless act of giving others what they could not provide for themselves. The act has the potential to transform not only others but also the person who performs the service.

Click here for a video highlighting more of Aidil’s and, her brother, Caleb’s story with Outreach360.

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14 Days of Giving

 

 

We are so excited to announce that we have an anonymous donor who will be giving $10,000 to Outreach360 at the end of December when we meet our year-end fundraising goal of $30,000! So, to kick off an exciting month of fundraising, we are launching, for the first time ever, Outreach360’s 14 Days of Giving! It’s a daily contest in which donors like you enter daily to win amazing prizes, like Outreach360 water bottles and t-shirts and even some vintage Orphanage Outreach gear. It’s easy to enter, all you need to do is donate to the 14 Days of Giving fundraising page.

For every $10 you donate, we’ll enter your name into a daily drawing and an additional name in our Grand Prize bucket. At the end of each day we’ll pull out a name, announce the winner and then start over the next day, but throughout the two weeks, names will accumulate to win the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize is a $1,800 credit towards an Outreach360 trip! To put that into perspective for you, $1,800 would cover the cost of two individuals volunteering for a week, the cost of one person volunteering for three weeks or would cover more than 50% of the cost for an eight-week Caminos Internship (see a breakdown of our volunteer costs). There are only 14 days to win the daily prizes so spread your donations out across multiple days or go all in on one of the days for a higher chance of winning, but no matter what, we’ll continue adding your name to the Grand Prize drawing!

As 2018 comes to a close, and we reflect on the past year, we can’t help but feel overwhelming gratitude for all that our supporters have made possible. In Nicaragua, despite current unrest, we’ve managed to not only keep the Learning Center open to our students but have also expanded programming to include university prep for our high school students! And in Monte Cristi, we had a record-making summer with a vocational-themed six-week Dare to Dream Camp for our Learning Center students, in which they learned about professions in STEM, the performing arts, and tourism and were even able to take field trips around the country relating to the professions that they learned about. For many of our students, this was their first opportunity to travel outside of Monte Cristi.

We already have a lot to look forward to in 2019. We are hopeful our volunteer program in Jinotega will reopen in the summer and volunteer-run English lessons and neighborhood camps will start back up. In the Dominican Republic, we are preparing to enroll a whole new class of fifth-grade students into the Learning Center. In the first few months, they will be learning how the program works and preparing for their English education with an intensive Spanish literacy program. 

With so much to look forward to, there’s also a lot of preparation that needs to be done. That’s why our December goal is so important and why an anonymous donor has stepped up to help make our 2019 goals possible! It’s not lost on us that we couldn’t do any of it with you, that’s why with the 14 Days of Giving we’ll be able to give back some to you for all that you give. Never forget, YOU are Outreach360! We’re so proud to have you in our family. 

Click for the most recent update on our volunteer program in Nicaragua.
To follow the progress of the 14 Days of Giving and our December fundraising goal, visit our Facebook page.
Click to donate to the 14 Days of Giving Fundraiser.

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Hike For Hope. Hike For Humanity. Hike For Them.

Outreach360 believes in a world where every child grows up living a Life of Choice. We believe that can be achieved through access to an education that opens doors to new opportunities and therefore a path out of poverty. Outreach360 invites you to hike for change on May 5th, 2018 for the 3rd Annual Dare to Dream Hike.

Why should you get involved? Because your involvement will inspire students to overcome mountains. Literally.

Education continues to be an inaccessible right for millions of children around the world but your support can empower students in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic to continue their education. The 2018  Dare to Dream Hike is an annual fundraising event put on by you and the people in your community. Together, you will create a fundraising team and commit to raising as much money as you can to support these students. On May 5th, 2018, your fundraising team, along with hundreds of volunteers, students, and donors around the world, will celebrate the success of the Dare to Dream Hike by hiking somewhere in your community.

Audrey Sharp, the Outreach360 Development Director, says, “I hike for the kids who walk miles to get to our seasonal learning camps. We’re so proud of the students in our Learning Centers and how far they’ve come, not only in their English skills but also as students and dreamers. Our volunteers have worked so hard to fulfill the Outreach360 mission and, naturally, we continuously strive to expand the reach of our impact. The Dare to Dream Hike can make that happen. I hike so that the hundreds of children in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic waiting to get into our Learning Centers will be able to join our education programs.”

Although your team will set individual fundraising goals, your efforts will be joined by the Dare to Dream Hike community of fundraisers. Your involvement will contribute to a community of service-minded individuals who are passionate about education around the globe. Together, the Dare to Dream Hike fundraising teams will ensure that Outreach360 students live a Life of Choice.

Last year, the Dare to Dream Hike fundraiser was able to raise over $50,000 thanks to the efforts of Outreach360 hikers like Patrick Newell, an Outreach360 volunteer and 2017 Dare to Dream Hike participant. Patrick was inspired to give back after leading a service trip with Outreach360 to the Dominican Republic: “I participated in the 2017 Dare to Dream Hike for the kids. After volunteering for a week in the Dominican Republic, our team [Algonquin College] was so inspired by the children and their willingness to learn that we had to do more. We spent the week teaching in Outreach360’s new learning center in Monte Cristi; and knowing that the organization could serve so many more children in Jinotega if they had a larger facility, we knew we had to help make that happen.”

Our 2018 goal is to raise $100,000 to invest in the future of the students enrolled in Outreach360’s Learning Centers. This would not be possible without the support of Outreach360 volunteers and donors. Your involvement will make a real difference in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Join Outreach360 for the 2018 Dare to Dream Hike. United, we will hike wherever we are in the world to celebrate the children who have inspired us to hike for hope in this fight for education.

What will you hike for? Summit up for us here: http://donate.outreach360.org/daretodreamhike

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Say It Loud, Say It Proud: You Are Outreach360

Outreach360 volunteers are the heart of the organization. Without their dedication to serving year after year, Outreach360 would cease to exist. We continuously tell our volunteers, “You Are Outreach360“. This principle sheds light on the motivated individuals who aspire to make a difference in the world: Outreach360 volunteers. The majority of labor and funds integrated into the program come from volunteers, and Outreach360 is forever grateful for their support.

Pictured here is Audrey Sharp, the Outreach360 Associate Marketing Manager, surrounded by Nicaraguan Learning Center students.

Audrey Sharp, Outreach360 Associate Marketing Manager, explains,” Outreach360 doesn’t exist without you. It just doesn’t. The hardest part of an Outreach360 volunteer trip is having to leave at the end of it. I remember coming back from my first trip with Outreach360 and feeling a little lost. I decided to start donating monthly to the program thinking that if I couldn’t be with the students then at least I could be contributing in my own way to their education. It wasn’t until I came on staff that I truly understood what Outreach360 had been trying to tell me when they said to volunteers YOU are Outreach360. The truth is that our donors are as integral to the organization as our volunteers and our students.”

Putting on the Outreach360 volunteer t-shirt further inducts you into the “You Are Outreach360” circle. Outreach360 volunteers are recognized by local community members in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. When volunteers wear the Outreach360 t-shirts, they are representing Outreach360 in the communities they serve. It is common for volunteers to be welcomed by a chorus of students and locals saying “hello, teacher” while walking through town. The Outreach360 name is as recognized as our volunteers.

“It is important to remember volunteers are not here to ‘help’ Outreach360, they ‘are’ Outreach360. Outreach360 relies heavily on its volunteers, and every single individual matters. Being a part of Outreach360 can and will contour your perspectives and inspire your knowledge of the culture and life in Nicaragua [and the Dominican Republic],” Adrian Nguyen, a former volunteer from Virginia Commonwealth University, said.

Outreach360 strives to make your volunteer experiences memorable. Outreach360 staff is mindful of your expectations. We are conscious of our volunteers’ desire to learn throughout their time in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.  Volunteering with Outreach360 will facilitate your development in the knowledge of a new culture, as well as help to improve your leadership skills. This growth all ties back into the “You Are Outreach360” experience. While “You Are Outreach360”, we know you are also an individual who is eager to expand their global awareness. Outreach360 will serve you to achieve your goals.

Outreach360 Leader Andrea Deleo Urcuyo teaches a Nicaragua Learning Center student during class.

Outreach360 Leader Andrea Deleo Urcuyo says, “The volunteers are Outreach360, and I can see that especially at the Nicaragua Learning Center. The volunteers share their love and their knowledge with the students. We remind the volunteers about the principles, like “You Are Outreach360″, during meals. We get to help them realize that they are Outreach360 during debriefs at the end of the day. The debriefs are a really a special moment where volunteers get to talk about the teaching lessons and the impact they are having on the students. Debriefs really help volunteers understand that without them, the Outreach360 program would look entirely different. We are so happy to have volunteers here because they are experts in the English language. It’s a great opportunity for our students and for children around the world to learn English.”

To learn more about Outreach360, visit this website: www.outreach360.org.

 

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