Outreach 360 Program Returns From Dominican Republic

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March 20, 2013

Medaille staff and students recently returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic to teach children as part of the Outreach 360 Program.

The Outreach 360 Program in the Dominican Republic mission is to "enable children to a live a life of choice." Through Neighborhood Learning Centers, volunteers primarily focus on teaching English and Spanish literacy to children during the half day they are not in school.  

The Medaille team spent its mornings and afternoons teaching English to children ranging from six years old to 12 years old. They also spent hours teaching vocabulary words surrounding celebrations, possessives, days of the week and months. It was as much as an enriching and rewarding experience for them as it was for the children. 

In addition to teaching, Outreach 360 provided the students with cultural enrichment through various means like:
- Learning the Bachata, a popular Dominican dance -visiting the Dajabon Market to experience the stark difference between Haiti and the Dominican Republic
- Watching "In The Time of the Butterflies"  which described the Mirabal sisters during the time of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. 

Outreach 360 taught the students to "release the hero within" and look at their communities and how they might help.

Participants in the program included:
Melisa Williams, Director of Student Involvement and Multicultural Education & Diversity
Mame Yaa Ankoma Mensa, graduate assistant in Residence Life and graduate student in literacy
Fran Perez, junior, True Blue and Gold Leadership Program, criminal justice major
Courtney Celej, sophomore, True Blue and Gold Leadership Program, biology major
Mariah Haddad, freshman, True Blue and Gold Leadership Program, business major

I'm grateful for the education I've received.

The instructors were knowledgeable and welcomed class discussions, with
respect for each student's contribution. I've learned how to be a more
effective leader. My capstone class gave insight on how to combine all
the education learned to operate a business. That's when I realized how
much I had sharpened my knowledge.

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