Warwick students volunteer to educate in Nicaragua

By on December 27, 2017

Warwick High School students, Alexis Barge (left) and Brigham Rhoads teaching students at the Outreach360 Learning Center located in Jinotega, Nicaragua. (Photo by Outreach360)


Teachers Stephanie (Nikki) Rivera and Renee Campeau led 20 Warwick High School students to volunteer to educate children in Jinotega, Nicaragua for one week (Nov. 18 through 25) with Outreach360. Outreach360 is a grassroots volunteer organization located in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua that aims to educate children through English language instruction.

Rivera and Campeau took students to the Dominican Republic for the first time in 2015. The pair was inspired to lead another group of students to Nicaragua after their first experience with the Outreach360 service program.

(Photo by Outreach360)

“Outreach360 gives me the opportunity to show my students that they can use their linguistic skills outside the classroom while serving others,” Rivera explained. “I really think this program seems so ‘salt of the earth.’ There is nothing fancy about it; you don’t have to be fancy to make connections, and to have life-long, memorable experiences.”

Warwick students taught an English immersion camp for over 100 Nicaraguan students, as well as classes in the Outreach360 Learning Center to 37 Nicaraguan students from the German Pomares neighborhood, located in Jinotega. Students enrolled in the Outreach360 Learning Center program study English year-round.

“Volunteering abroad is definitely something everyone should experience in their life,” senior Brigham (Brig) Rhoads, 17, said. “This experience makes you grow tremendously, and it educates people on what they can do for the world no matter how small they are. I came out a different person from when I came in. That’s what this program does.”

In Nicaragua, sodas are served in bags.

Outreach360 welcomes high school students to serve in impoverished areas in Latin America. The organization immerses high school students in cultural experiences unique to both the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

“It’s the kids; it’s the culture; it’s the experience. Learning English opens a lot of doors for students in Nicaragua,” senior Mia Stavarski, 17, said. “It was amazing being able to share my knowledge with them. I feel like I have grown so much here, maybe even more so than the kids this week.”

Volunteering abroad provides unique opportunities for high school students who are interested in making a global difference. With Outreach360, high school students take on the role of a teacher to educate underserved students in Latin American communities.

This was the view of Jinotega, the city that Warwick students stayed in while teaching in Nicaragua over Thanksgiving.

“I do believe that students need to see the world; they need to expand their horizons in whatever way,” Campeau said. “They need to travel; they need to get to know other cultures, and I think that is working towards peace. Outreach360 has made me aware. It’s one thing to see things on TV; it’s another thing to live it. The experience touches you in different ways when you live it. And I hope our students feel the same way.”

More information about Outreach360 can be found at outreach360.org.

Story submitted by Outreach360.

This photo was at the top of a 1,000-step hike at sunrise. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Brigham Rhoads and Jensen Hodecker; (middle, l-r) Lucas Sauder, Alex Kerek, Connor Shields, Talia Bertrando, and McKenzie Cossette; (back, l-r) Montana Lutz, Jason Ciampaglia and Raquel Rivera. (Photos submitted by Brigham Rhoads)



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