Kelli Brodbeck '14 to Serve in Dominican Republic
January 17, 2013
by Peter Fox
North Attleborough Free Press
While most college students will be taking a break this March, North Attleborough's Kelli Brodbeck will be in the Dominican Republic helping the less fortunate.
She'll miss going home over spring break, but the Stonehill College junior said helping people in need will be far more rewarding.
"In no way does this trip to the D.R. feel like I'm giving anything up," Brodbeck said. "I love kids and I'm very passionate about education. This is the best way, for me, to spend my Spring Break."
The service trip is being organized through Stonehill's alternative Spring Break program.
The group will travel to the city of La Romana from March 2 to 10, where they will help at a local school, El Hogar del Nino. The program at the school provides children (newborns to 17 years) with daily care, educational opportunities, medical assistance, and vocational training.
Brodbeck said the trip goes hand in hand with her major of sociology.
"There is only so much you can learn in a classroom," Brodbeck said. "Social justice really involves an action component. This trip provides us with the opportunity to experience life with the children we will be serving by participating in their daily joys and struggles."
In addition to helping her learn, Brodbeck hopes to be part of something bigger than herself.
"As I've learned from my studies and my professors, the ultimate goal of any service work is to answer the bigger question of ‘what do we do now?'" she said. "Because only positive, sustainable change will make an impact. This trip lays the groundwork for promoting that positive change.
Brodbeck said this trip is not the first time she's participated in service projects. She volunteers weekly at Catholic Charities in Brockton, in the English Transcultural Center helping teach English as a second language.
Before she can go, Brodbeck said she has to raise enough funds to support the trip. Every student going on the trip is responsible for helping to defray the cost of travel and to support the site they will be visiting. The last day to make a contribution is Wednesday, Feb. 22.
Brodbeck said she hopes to make a lot of people from North a part of her service trip.
"I would definitely say that North Attleborough is a generous community," the 2010 North Attleborough High School graduate said. "The year I graduated high school, I had no idea how many organizations were available to help my classmates and I fund our educations. The North Attleborough Scholarship Foundation continues its generosity each year by reaching out to its past recipients to help them in any way possible to continue their education."
North has also helped shape the person she is today, Brodbeck said.
I will always be grateful for the education I received in North," she said. "Ever since my 7th grade geography class, I have loved school. That year, we surveyed a variety of cultures and I'm sure it in some way laid the foundation for my interest in sociology."
Her Spanish classes in particular helped her choose her vocation, she said.
"I certainly don't know where I would be without my Spanish teachers from high school," Brodbeck said. "My 11th grade Spanish teacher really pushed me to achieve beyond what I ever thought I could. In 11th and 12th grade, we spent part of our spring semesters teaching Spanish to the kids at the Martin School and Roosevelt School. I loved seeing the kids get so excited to learn a new language."
If you would like to help support Brodbeck's trip, checks may be made payable to Stonehill College and denote HOPE/Dominican Republic/Kelli Brodbeck in the memo line. Support for the entire Dominican Republic group is also welcomed, but denote HOPE Dominican Republic on the memo line. Mail checks to: Kelli Brodbeck, 927 Mount Hope St. North Attleborough, MA 02760
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.