Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. (CBOB) is a non-profit organization with a mission centered around constantly bettering the lives of children locally and internationally with empowerment through education. CBOB has many wonderful programs within it, Bound For Peace, Children Within our Borders, Student Chapters, IAMCBOB, and a powerful one: the Volunteer Internship Program (VIP). VIP was founded in November 2009 with the initiative to provide students with the opportunity to get involved in a non-profit and make a direct impact on the world. The main goal of this program is to empower and inform the interns, while providing them with life skills and practical experience to prepare them for a future filled with passion and success.
Through the Volunteer Internship Program, interns are able to acquire skills that will help them in the future, with any path they choose to pursue. VIP provides their interns with hands-on experiences that teach them knowledge, empathy, and professionalism. This is important because the professionalism you learn in VIP “helps you practice being personal to whom you are serving yet still know your limits and act like the qualified person you are,” says Estefania Martinez, our Curriculum Coordinator.
The positions in VIP range from Grant Writing to Fundraising to Social Media. Independent of the position, every semester we are able to see the profound impact VIP has had on the interns and the kids we serve. Emalyn Deak, our current Training Coordinator, said that joining the VIP program “has been one of the best decisions of [her] life.” Because of this program, “I look at the world around me with a different perspective,” she states, “I continue to feel blessed that I found not only an internship, but also a family.” Our current Graphic Designer, Amanda Gebelhoff, said that through the Volunteer Internship Program, she’s “become more responsible, handled [her] time better, and furthered [her] skills in design.”
VIP may seem intimidating, but there is nothing more encouraging than this family of passionate and dedicated people who will support you every step of the way. “The people you work with in CBOB want to see you accomplish things and also give you the proper tools and techniques with expansive freedom to do so,” says Cathy Telfer, one of our Grant Writing Interns. The internship always goes above and beyond any expectation a person had coming into them, surprising them with the difference they can make in the world, and the difference they found VIP made on them. This internship is for anyone who is willing to “put in the work and believe in the cause,” says Sabrina Wilkerson, one of our Public Relations Interns, because “this experience is a great resume builder and can teach you great work skills, such as being responsive and held accountable to your duties.” Emalyn Deak believes “this internship is more than just an internship; it is the key to making a difference in the world. Every volunteer, intern, or board member of CBOB change the world on a daily basis.”
VIP combines individuality with teamwork, passion with professionalism, and work with love.
“Experiences like this don’t come along very often, so take advantage of it,” says Amanda Gebelhoff. Let the Volunteer Internship Program empower you, as you empower others.
Applications open today, Friday, June 24th, 2016. Apply and find out more at http://www.chbob.org/apply
Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. (CBOB) hosted the first Children Within Our Borders (CWOB) Pediatric Mobile Health Clinic in Gainesville, FL, on June 11, 2016. Thanks to a dedicated number of volunteers and attendees, the outcome of this event was a striking success! The Mobile Health Clinic Service Day proved to be a valuable initiative learning experience for both the kids and the parents.
Volunteers conducted various activities to teach the kids of Alachua County about proper nutrition and health. The children of this community were given the opportunity to listen to meaningful health talks conducted by knowledgeable volunteers. This hybrid clinic allowed for the kids and to be examined and provided with vaccinations. Volunteers also helped conduct activities such as Zumba, yoga, and other fun workshops aimed to teach the utmost importance of health.
Amanda Gebelhoff, Graphic Design VIP Intern, attended the event and was awestruck by its accomplishments along with the positive mark it left for the children of Gainesville:
“The Mobile Clinic Service Day was a great event for the Alachua community. I think a lot of families got the medical attention they needed and also got educated on some health topics they may not have known about. The kids we worked with in the workshops were adorable! They loved the stress balls and yoga. Even watching them get into Zumba was amazing! Completely made my day. I just wish we could help more people in the community and I hope that can be done at our future events.”
Elizabeth Castaneda, Development and Community Outreach VIP Intern, enjoyed the planned activities and being the reason for someone else’s happiness:
“The Pediatric Mobile Health Clinic was such a great experience for me especially since I aspire to be a pediatrician. I was so happy to have the opportunity to work with the children and their families, as well as the amazing volunteers that came out to help. We offered hands-on learning to the children by offering workshops that dealt with nutrition and personal hygiene. I'm looking forward to more Mobile Clinic Service days!"
CBOB board member and pediatrician at UF Shands Hospital, Dr. Diana Montoya-Williams, also took part in this event. Dr. Montoya-Williams stresses the importance of distributing health services to all children. Thanks to a partnership between CBOB and the Alachua County Health Department, the University of Florida’s Department of Pediatrics, as well as UF’s Mobile Outreach Clinic, the event attracted the attention of WCJB-TV local news.
See the story: http://tinyurl.com/gnsbmvx
On April 16th, Emalyn Deak, our Training Coordinator, lost someone very near and dear to her - her grandfather Robert Thompson. Emma’s grandfather was one of her strongest supporters, especially of her work with Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. (CBOB). When asked about her grandfather, Emalyn had this to say:
“My Papa was always really good about being the best grandfather. Even when life threw him curveballs, he always managed to support and love his grandchildren with all his heart. His support for my future profession and work with CBOB was no exception. When I first told him about my internship and my trip to Colombia, he was quiet and quickly changed the subject. While at the time I thought he was weary about my future endeavors, I later learned that he was in such awe of what I was doing that he was lost for words. At his funeral, my aunts and uncles shared with me that my Papa would not stop talking about my trip and my internship. Everyone who came up to me at the funeral said he was so proud of what I was doing and the mission of CBOB. For that reason, many people at his funeral decided to make donations to CBOB in his name. I am so thankful for my Papa's support and love even after he has passed.”
CBOB is incredibly fortunate to have Emalyn. Like Emma’s grandfather, we too are in awe of her talents, dedication and the constant support she offers not only to her fellow interns, but to the organization as a whole. She continually inspires us all to work harder and to achieve more every day. Children Beyond Our Borders is so blessed to have had the support of such a wonderful man and to have the opportunity to work with Emalyn who brightens our lives on a daily basis.
Children Beyond Our Borders would like to honor Robert Thompson and thank him for his contributions to our organization. His support of Emalyn’s endeavors has, in turn, become support for our entire organization and we are eternally grateful.
The Bound For Peace trip to Cartagena, Colombia was one both the volunteers and the children will remember forever. With one of our partner foundations, Fundación Granitos de Paz, our volunteers were able to immerse themselves in the culture of Colombia and provide educational workshops to the children in an attempt to empower them and to break the cycle of violence and poverty.
The workshops topics presented by the volunteers included sex education, gang violence, decision making, and the importance of caring for yourselves and others. All the workshops discussed topics that educated the children on social and lifestyle issues. Those lessons learned will affect them on a daily basis, having a positive impact on the rest of their lives. One of the volunteers, Nikki Scort, said that she enjoyed the sex education and gang violence workshops the most because “it’s something that is a pressing issue in their community and it was one of the workshops where [she] saw that the kids were very interested and very willing to participate and learn more.” The volunteers helped the children set goals and figure out ways to accomplish them, something that came very natural to these kids. One of the volunteers, Erini Longini, was extremely impressed with how they responded to this activity, saying that “most of them had no problem writing the steps to reach their goals” and that all the children were “very open about their lives,” which made her feel welcomed. The ease at which these children caught on to the information and the excitement and maturity they showed is something that is going to be constantly inspiring the volunteers for years to come.
The Bound for Peace volunteers were able to experience the city of Cartagena as a whole on this trip. All of the volunteers were quickly immersed into the culture of the country through architecture, dance, music, and a volunteer favorite, food! Michelle Beissel said that her favorite part of the Colombian culture was “experiencing the food every night,” no matter if they stayed in or went out. They were able to see how the city was different from where they lived and how fortunate they were. Every single one of the volunteers left with a feeling of gratitude for the children and for the city. Through exploring beaches and little back roads in the city, the volunteers were able to establish a lifelong bond with each other.
Overall, to say our Bound For Peace trip was a success is an understatement! The memories made, the lessons taught, and the smiles created will never be forgotten. “I think this was a really good service trip because instead of just coming in and doing temporary things we were supporting Granitos de Paz which has a huge positive influence in the community. I feel like I got to learn a lot about Cartagena and even Colombia in general by getting to spend so much time with the kids,” said Eirini Longini. This trip was just another example of how education equals empowerment.
Applications for our next Bound for Peace trips will open in the early fall, so keep an eye out! But in the mean time, you can donate to a volunteer to make the next trip possible here http://www.chbob.org/payment.html!
For more information: email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, or check out our website http://www.chbob.org/bound-for-peace.html.