Foregoing an early June vacation to the Jersey Shore beaches, 13 CBA students and two faculty members traveled to the De La Salle Educational Center in Homestead, Florida for a service immersion trip last week.
The educational center is part of the South Dade Camp, where workers from many Central and South American countries apply for the United States Visa Program. If accepted, workers and their families travel to the U.S. to work on one of four camps in Florida.
While their parents are working, the children attend school at the De La Salle Educational Center, which is located right on the camp site. Since school has been let out for the summer, the CBA group worked with the summer camp program at the center.
The CBA volunteers interacted with upwards of 20 children who come from families living in poverty. Many of the children experience behavioral issues because of their living conditions. The children had to sleep on the floor with sleeping bags or air mattresses with limited access to bathrooms and showers. The summer camp begins at 7:00 a.m. and runs until 6:00 p.m., tiring many of the children out after a long day in the Florida heat.
The CBA group arrived in South Florida with gifts for the summer program, as the camp’s director shared a “wish list” with them before traveling. The boys brought board games, art supplies, athletic equipment and more to share with the children.
Each day, the CBA students participated in different activities with the children. On Tuesday, rising junior Alex Sanfilippo-Scherer led a fencing lesson for the kids, showing them a unique sport that many of them had not heard of before. On Wednesday, the group served as chaperones on a field trip to the Miami Zoo, leading three or four children around the park on one of their favorite experiences of the summer.
Before they departed, the Academy men helped the children create Fathers’ Day cards for their dads before Sunday’s holiday.
It was the third time this year that CBA has traveled to the De La Salle Educational Center. The students were joined by faculty members Mr. Ciro Saverino and Mr. John Hanley.