My name is Brooke Farrell and I live in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. I am entering my senior year of high school at St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts. I first got involved with Outreach360 in my sophomore year, when I served in the Dominican Republic on a school trip. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I will never forget the tag games I played with the kids, the songs we sang together, and the overall love they had for each other, the volunteers, and their education. They truly inspired me.
I heard about Outreach360's remote internship from Tom Eklund, Outreach360's CEO. He sent an email to previous in-country volunteers announcing the new program. I immediately knew that this was the perfect opportunity for me to stay involved. Serving in the Dominican Republic opened my eyes to see how valuable an education really is. Hearing students, parents, and teachers reflect on how big of an impact every individual volunteer hs on the program was so meaningful and humbling.
There are really no limits to a volunteer's virtual impact. The Virtual Impact Program opens so many doors for students not only in Jinotega and Monte Cristi but also for students wh would be unable to travel to the Learning Centers normally. We were able to connect with students from different parts of Nicaragua. Each and every student took charge of their learning and made the most out of every resource that we provided them. With our guidance, they were able to utilize their technology to best support themselves as learners. We could see enormous growth within the first week of the internship.
The students ignited a new excitement in me for learning. It was a hard adjustment for me this spring when my school went online, but seeing the Nicaraguan students adapt to this new way of learning was incredible. They made me want to be better. I am still so encouraged by their persistence, positivity, and hard work every day over Zoom. Additionally, I loved the cultural exploration aspect of the internship; it helped me relate more to the students. The Leadership and Social Change course also proved to be very important in my development as a leader and citizen. It was a great space to reflect on what it means to be a part of social change.
I cannot stress this enough, but do not hesitate to become a remote intern with Outreach360! It really is an amazing and life-changing experience. I made true connections with so many new people that I will carry with me into the future. The students and families are extremely appreciative of every volunteer. On the last day of my internship, the students made my teaching partner and me cards showing their gratitude. It was really hard to say goodbye to them, but I am so excited to know that they now hold their futures in their own hands and that the sky is the limit for them.
For more information on Outreach360's virtual internships, please visit www.outreach360.org/virtualimpact.