Travel abroad to volunteer your time and receive academic credit.
The Levermore Global Scholars Program collaborated with the Orphanage Outreach, a nonprofit organization with extensive experience in offering various community-based and service-oriented short and long-term programs in the Dominican Republic to help orphaned, abandoned, and disadvantaged children.
Volunteers worked in the town of Monte Cristi. The Orphanage Outreach offered orientation, on-site supervision, and educational and cultural activities for students involved. Students served both the orphanage as well as the local community. Much of the time was spent teaching the orphanage children and/or teaching English in local schools.
Watch a slideshow of photos documenting the 2011 trip.
Read reflections on a past trip, excerpted from student journals:
Click the + signs below to expand each section for answers.
- Dominican Republic / The Orphanage
- “Our group left the bus and I already felt like I had been totally immersed in the program whether I was ready or not!”
- “Barriers—that’s what I expected to find in the Dominican Republic (linguistic, cultural, etc.), but if I’ve come across any, I’ve found ways around them.”
- “I couldn’t speak Oscar’s language and he couldn’t speak mine, but we were able to cometogether and do something pretty remarkable (i.e. win with me on the team). It just goes to show that some things (like sports) transcend the need for verbal communication. The revelation was a great picker-upper. I havea great feeling about this trip.”
- “As we mingled with the children of the orphanage, I began to realize that I was on my way to fulfilling one of my goals as a Levermore Global Scholar; meeting and interacting with peers of different cultures and backgrounds.”
- “We bonded so well. I think I’ve become too attached and I’m going to miss them so much.I’m dreading Saturday when we have to leave.”
- Service / Working with the Children
“Most of the time these little groups that I was trying to leadwere set up amidst much chaos in the classroom, but I love the chaos. Who wants a job where they know what they can expect day in and day out?”
“These classrooms are just like our own back home. These students are just like the students in our schools. We are more similar than different.”
“I don’t speak a lick of Spanish, but if I don’t listen to what they’re saying and just watch, I see a sixth grade classroom that’s just like any other. I see a bunch of kids that want to have fun more than anything else. Some things are just fundamental to all human beings.”
“Most of us are really learning as much as the kids, but I think that’s perfectly fine, considering we can learn these things anytime we wish, they can’t.”
“Kids’ behaviors and interactions with people are universal. If you’re genuine and nice to them, they’ll want to hang out with you.”
“If you’re nice to people, even if you don’t speak the same language, they can sense it, and they’re willing to help you.”
“The only word to describe t oday’s experience is “WOW.” It was a real challenge being an “Americana” and trying to control these kids who knew all the tricks.”
“Today went so well with the classes. I pretty much taught four on my own.”
“Today was also the last day for our afternoon classes. I felt as though I was leaving my younger siblings.”
“I learned a lot about myself and the world by going on this tri p. The principle “it’s not about you” taught me to really adapt and just be comfortable outside my comfort zone.”
- Teamwork with Other LGS Students
- “Seeing the group outside of class in a more in formal setting seemed to connect everyone more, made everything more comfortable alt hough no one was exactly sure what we were going to do the next seven days.”
- “When looking at my classmates, I see some of them struggling since they’re outside their comfort zone but they seem OK for the most part. I have faith in them for overcoming the obstacles and becoming comfortable with their surroundings.”
- “Tonight was so much fun. We played catchphrase and I have not laughed so hard for a long time. Honestly I think my ribs hurt from laughing so hard with my old group of friends.”
- “I loved that we as a group were able to openly discuss what was working in our classes and what was not working.”
- Final Reflections.
- “I was crying when I got on the plane returning from the Dominican Republic, because I was leaving an amazing week of my life behind, and an amazing place, filled with equally amazing people. I hadn’t felt so at peace or alive as I felt this past week in such a long time.”
- “I consider myself something of a rock when it comes to emotions, but I’ll admit that I’m sad. We’ve only been here a week and somehow I feel connected to these kids—at the orphanage and in the school.”
- “What I do know is that this trip has been one of the greatest experiences of my (so far) fairly short life. I look forward to many more.”
- “Even though I insist that I don’t like kids, the students really had an impact on me. Such small things excited them like being able to see the picture on the viewer after the photo is taken. Also from this trip I learned to be a little more grateful for what I have.”
- “There are no words to describe this experience; I’m very pleased I chose to go.”
- “I’m so shocked and proud of myself for getting this far. I’m here, I made it and even though I shed a few tears I know I’m growing and all of this is going to help me have a better and more objective view of people and the world.”
- “I also learned that everyone should offer a helping hand even if you don’t have a lot. If you have, you can always offer something.”
- “This trip not only taught me how to give others a lesson but it allowed me to realize a part of my purpose in life. Though there were some challenges and stressful moments in this trip, there were also some moments that I will cherish and never forget.”
- “I feel this natural tendency to want to be available for other people more so than I think I have ever felt.”
- “Leaving the Dominican Republic, I really do feel a sense of peace running through my body. I am very much at peace with who I am as a person in this moment, and I am very much at peace with the simple life that we have all been experiencing for the past seven days.”
- “One thing that I know that I have taken home with me as a result of this past trip outside the States is to make sure that you not only reach out to strangers that are in need, but make sure you reach out to your own family with the same desire and enthusiasm.”