This was definitely the most impactful trip I have ever been on. It was the ultimate IB experience; I was able to apply everything I have been learning in IB. While I felt that I helped the kids, they also helped me. I definitely grew on this trip.
Tampa, FL (PRWEB) October 09, 2013
Juniors and seniors from Carrollwood Day School recently spent one week volunteering in the Dominican Republic as a part of a Volunteer Abroad program operated by Outreach360. The students worked alongside long-term volunteers from Outreach 360 teaching conversational English to youth between the ages 8-12 through games and songs. In addition to volunteering, the students participated in cultural and educational activities about the Dominican history and customs, and visited the famous Dajabón trading market located on the border with Haiti.
CDS juniors and seniors volunteered through Outreach360, a non-profit organization working to transform the lives of children, families, communities and the world through the education and development of disadvantaged children. Outreach360 has been making a difference in the world since 1994 and offers a “turn-key” approach to international volunteering; anyone can make an impact through Outreach360. Programs range from one week to a year.
"Volunteers of any background can make a significant impact in the lives of many children," explains Outreach360’s Executive Director Tom Eklund. "We are a grass-roots volunteer organization. Individuals, families, high school teams, college teams, and church teams can make a difference by teaching children in the disadvantaged neighborhoods where we work.”
Outreach360 programs are open to people of all ages and backgrounds. Volunteers are given customized placements based on their skills, their interests, and the need, and work side-by-side with local people on community-led initiatives in Community Centers. The focus is on English, Spanish Literacy or Public Health Education, as well as vocational and college preparation for high school students and environmental sustainability projects. The only pre-requisite to volunteer is a desire to help others and an interest in cultural exchange.
“Many caring people these days really want to make a difference,” Eklund said. “Our vision is a transformed world in which every child is able to pursue a college degree or to be gainfully employed upon reaching adulthood, enabling them to live a life of choice.”
The Outreach360 program includes an intensive orientation with in-country expert staff. Participants enjoy room and board at an Outreach360 Community Center and cultural activities which provide insight into the culture and community where they volunteer. Volunteers pay their own airfare and a U.S. tax-deductible program donation to Outreach360 to cover all in-country expenses.