Community Development this Inspire Week

Community Development this Inspire Week

High School

Hello Readers,

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Kids club pairs mentors with younger students

Welcome back to another Study Academy Report! I hope you all are enjoying this lovely spring weather we have been having recently! Some of our High School students have remarked that it is still a bit chilly compared to where they were just a week ago. Can you guess who? Well, for those of you who have read my previous post you know that some of our High School students made a trip to Nicaragua.

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Trenching foundations of the soon-to-be school in El Manzano # Uno

On March 29th a select number of students and teachers packed their bags, boarded American Airlines and travelled to the beautiful land of Nicaragua in Central America. This was an absolutely exciting experience for all of them! Nicaragua has an abundantly rich culture, being known simultaneously as The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes as well as The Land of Poets (home to many renown Nicaraguan writers such as Ruben Dario and Ernesto Cardenal).

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Horseback riding on the beach

For one whole week, our students participated in a community development project associated with the Canadian Not-For-Profit organization known as Waves of Hope. The Waves of Hope organization has worked tirelessly towards improving educational opportunities, investing in local infrastructure, and helping to create a thriving community within Nicaragua. Our students contributed to this mission by helping to build a school in El Manzano # Uno. They tossed aside their wireless devices and dug right into their work! Ha, did you see the joke there?  Well anyway, our students were mixing cement, digging trenches, and painting walls among other building tasks, all to assist in improving the local Nicaraguan community.

When students were not lending a hand, they were residing and taking part in the fun activities at the El Coco Loco Resort on the Northern end of Nicaragua.  When speaking to one of the returning High School teachers, he remarked that they had the opportunity to take in the local cuisine (fresh fish, pineapple, mango, and peanut butter) all fresh and from the very neighbourhood in which they were staying! They were also able to enjoy the private beach, swimming, surfing, and horseback riding!  You can check out all the fun the students were having by checking out our Nicaragua  Trip 2014 Photo gallery (http://thestudyacademy.ca/nicaragua-trip-2014/)

Overall, this was a perfect mixture of community development, personal growth, and fun for our students. Volunteering with Waves of Hope was a wonderful chance to provide for others and put aside personal needs. I urge you, if you are interested in learning more about how you can experience a trip like The Study Academy’s or if you would like to learn about Waves of Hope’s initiatives contact Jamie or Ben.

Till next week!

Theoretical Thursday: Well Being and Volunteering Abroad

Theoretical Thursday: Well Being and Volunteering Abroad

The Study Academy Report

Hello Readers,

I have very exciting news regarding The Study Academy’s highschool! This week starting from Saturday the 13th, the students will go off on an experience of a lifetime! The students of The Study Academy are going off to Nicaragua to volunteer their time. Indeed volunteering abroad is and will be such a great opportunity for these select students. By volunteering, we learn how to help others, and in doing so learn about ourselves. Also, volunteering allows you to explore (new) career interests, build your resume, and gain marketable skills for the working world. However, as it is theoretical thursday, I think it is only fair to disclose what scientific  has to say about volunteering. A map of nicaragua

A recent report put together by the Corporation for National and Community Service (http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/07_0506_hbr.pdf) has showed that a decent 30 scientifically-controlled studies collectively found that volunteering leads to improved mental and physical health. In particular those who volunteered experienced higher functional ability, greater longevity and improved self esteem.

In particular for youth, research has shown that volunteering is an incredibly important activity for dealing with what some consider a very challenging life period. The action to help others and going beyond their own basic obligations, can help improve a youth’s life transition. This is formally known as life course theory and it argues that volunteering can help teenagers develop positive self identities during a time where they  are transitioning in their life physically, emotionally and socially. It also explains how by placing them in intimate situation with larger more diverse group of people that youth can gain new perspectives that foster healthy psychological well being.

With that being said, we wish only the best for the students as they travel to Nicaragua, and genuinely hope that this will be a great memory for them at their time at The Study Academy.