At the Pontifical Catholic University-Madre y Maestra there are several classes that allow students to participate in community service for a three-hour credit class.
Unfortunately, these classes are not transferable for me because we do not have a similar course at Florida A&M.
I decided to take the course anyway because I wanted to be involved in the area and help as much people as I could.
The course involves two hours per week in a classroom, where we discuss what we want to do and problems in society. Outside of the class, we are required to do at least three or fours hours per week with a designed foundation.
The exact number of hours that a person must work depends on the distance of your foundation. My foundation is an hour drive, which means I do three hours of community service per week.
I work with A Mother’s Wish Foundation, which was founded in October 2003 by Rita Rizek and James Pickard.
A Mother’s Wish Foundation established a free clinic 18 km northeast of Santiago, Dominican Republic, where they have been providing potable water to the patients of the clinic, education in basic healthcare, and medical care through staff physicians.
Those are just a few of the things they do for the community, but all of them are for free.
In addition they run a pre-school, a boys and a girls club for the children to stay active and educated in healthy practices.
Another study abroad student, Ryan Bradberry and I are working with the boys club to create a kickball league.
We are also teaching the boys about safe sex and STD prevention because of the high rate of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in the country.
It is great to be able to help out these kids and give them information that they otherwise would not have.
Anyone interested in sending donations should visit www.amotherswish.org.
You can find more up to the minute information about my study abroad experience on Facebook or Twitter at kylejmarcil.