Meghan McCain is a Compliance Analyst in Ypsilanti, MI. She first volunteered with Outreach360 as a six-week intern in Monte Cristi, the Dominican Republic during the summer of 2015. Meghan played softball at Eastern Illinois University at the time and came down to serve in our summer baseball and softball program. Her experience and connection to the community was so profound that Meghan decided to return the following summer for eight weeks. She signed up to help sponsor a student in our Learning Center after her first trip and has continued to do so for nearly five years now.
How did you first get involved with Outreach360?
My college softball coach approached me about this amazing opportunity she was emailed about. She could not partake due to her double knee replacement, so she said, "You were the first one that came to mind and I can't think of anyone more fit for this opportunity." I came down as an intern and I loved it so much that I came back the following summer again as an intern.
What eye-opening moment sticks out to you most when you think back to your time in-country?
It was the light in the students' eyes when they learned something new. Whether that was in English camp, when they were able to articulate for the first time in English something that they knew was the right answer, or in baseball/softball camp, when the athletes put all the 'silly' little drills together to get the final product. Those moments will forever be ingrained in my memories and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to witness those lights come on in our students' and athletes' eyes.
What motivates you to continue your support?
Seeing the improvements, the updates, and the constant smiles from the students I had the honor of teaching and seeing them soar to new heights. I will always support the community that accepted me as their own and honored me by trusting myself and other teachers with their children. Monte Cristi and every other community that gave us the opportunity to teach their children will forever have my support because I know that giving the opportunity at a life of choice is all these amazing children and, now, young adults need to succeed in their lives.
How has Outreach360 impacted your life?
Outreach360 and all the employees and volunteers I had the pleasure of working with have impacted my life for the better. I have lifelong friends from my time at Outreach360 and I gained confidence in my abilities not only as a teacher and coach, but as a friend, mentor, and family member. My time with Outreach360 gave me a new lens through which I view the world and opened my mind and heart to so many places, people, and things I could have never imagined before.
How has the feeling of being part of the Outreach360 community stayed with you?
Feeling a part of the Outreach360 community never leaves you. As soon as you step off that plane in the Dominican Republic, you are family. No matter the distance or circumstance, I know I will always have a family and community in Monte Cristi.
How is Outreach360 unique from other non-profit organizations you do/could support?
Outreach360 is much different from the other non-profit organizations that I support because I have been there. I understand and believe in the mission and I was fortunate enough to be involved and witness real service.
What would you say to someone considering supporting Outreach360 in this way?
You will never regret supporting a child to live a life of choice. Please go visit my family and become a part of us. Go see firsthand how much this organization and community cares for one another.
What message would you like to share with our students?
I am incredibly proud of everything you have achieved so far and I know that with hard work you will continue to do amazing things! I still love each and every one of you. Please don't ever stop learning, don't ever stop giving 100%, and don't ever give up on yourself of your dreams!