Alec Fillmore is a Special Education Teacher at an elementary school in Huntington Beach, CA. He first volunteered with Outreach360 in the Dominican Republic in 2015. Since then, Alec has gone on to volunteer several times in both countries and helps to sponsor a Learning Center student in both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
How did you first get involved with Outreach360?
I first found Outreach360 while I was attending Arizona State University. I had seen a flier to teach English in another country. It seemed like something I would enjoy. I have gone back three times with plans for more so I guess I did enjoy it.
What eye-opening moment sticks out to you most when you think back to your time in-country?
When I look back on my time in Nicaragua, I think about the students and the community there. These are students who are volunteering their time to get extra support in learning a whole new language to better their lives. They were so grateful for the service we provided. It makes me think about how much I see students that I work with complain in my own school, who have quite possibly any and all resources given to them. It is very eye-opening to see the differences between the different countries.
What motivates you to continue your support?
The students are what drive my support. These kids and families have so much less in the world. As a human being, I think it is everyone’s responsibility to serve one another to better their lives. If we sit on the sidelines and do nothing, that seems wrong.
How has Outreach360 impacted your life?
It has impacted my life because I was able to meet a whole new world of people. I saw a different way of life than in the United States. I have a different outlook on the things in my life and how I want to serve others in any way that I can, no matter how small the gesture.
How has the feeling of being part of the Outreach360 community stayed with you?
The feeling sits with me every day. I see how careless some people can be with the things in their lives. I try to approach those moments in a productive way not to showboat or tell someone that there are many others in the world who would be grateful for what they have. I try to teach my students the value of education.
How is Outreach360 unique from other non-profit organizations you do/could support?
I’ve only ever served with Outreach360 and as much as I’d like to serve in other organizations I feel tied to this too much to venture out. If I have funds to take trips to Jinotega or Monti Cristi, I will always choose these places. It feels like home.
What would you say to someone considering supporting Outreach360 in this way?
Take it. It is one of the best experiences I could have asked for. I made amazing friends and met so many amazing people I’ll never forget.
What message would you like to share with our students?
You are what keeps the many volunteers coming back. You show us that you want an education which means it is our job to provide it. Please never lose that light inside of you as it is what makes you unique and amazing human beings.