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Students worked alongside the local villagers of Jarabocoa, DR to improve the infrastructure and build aqueducts to bring a most basic need – clean water to 15 families.

Students make monumental global change on international service learning trip

August 02, 2017

Roland Park K-8 Magnet International Baccalaureate (IB) World School prides itself on providing students with authentic learning experiences, coupled with real world application, to ensure students gain a comprehensive education that connects on a global level. An integral component to Roland Park is service learning and students taking action on a local, national, and global plane.

On July 16, ten 8th graders that make up the school’s 2017 International Service Learning Ambassadors, along with Cara von Ancken, Asst. Principal-Primary Years Program (PYP) and Katie Gilson, Middle Years Program (MYP) Lead Teacher flew into Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to begin the eight-day adventure that would provide memories for a lifetime.

They drove into the mountains where they worked alongside the local villagers of Jarabocoa to improve the infrastructure and build aqueducts to bring a most basic need – clean water to 15 families. Students spent two full days and over 15 hours to complete the project.

The hard work paid off as they spent time hiking to the Salto de Jimenoa waterfalls and experienced spectacular scenery. They traveled to the northern coast of Sosúa and spent time snorkeling and swimming in the Caribbean Sea. Their final days were spent in Santo Domingo, exploring the city’s historical sites. Students were immersed in this country’s beautiful culture by experiencing local cuisine, learning how to dance salsa and merengue, and they even discussed the struggles this country has experienced.

“This trip allowed students to develop a deeper understanding of a culture outside their own. Additionally, the profound personal growth, empowered sense of self, and connections made were priceless,” said Ancken.

This October during Hispanic Heritage Month, these student ambassadors will present to the middle schoolers on their cross cultural experience and how they learned and grew from this amazing program.

The school sincerely thanks the parents and families of these students, as well as the Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA), staff, and Roland Park families for their support and allowing Roland Park to help improve humanity.  

Next summer the school plans on taking students to Costa Rica to help construct classrooms and restrooms in local schools.

Hillsborough County Public Schools is proud of the impact these student leaders are making at such a young age and encourage them to continue on their journey of learning and making positive social changes.

Congratulations to this great team:

2017 International Service Learning Ambassadors 8th grade:  Landon Anhalt, Cameron Bray, Taylor Buck, Felix Cabreja, Charles Davidson, Emily DuSold, Ankush Mitra, Alexie Prieto, Shrishsa Saravana, and Aakash Vijeesh

Katie Gilson, MYP Lead Teacher

Cara von Ancken, Asst. Principal-PYP

Learn more about Roland Park K-8 Magnet School by visiting their website: http://rolandpark.mysdhc.org/

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