By: Micayla Kinder
With Father’s Day around the corner, some of the Children Beyond Our Borders’ Inc. scholars and staff reflect on lessons learned and memories made with their dads.
This Sunday, families across the country will spend the day celebrating their dads and thanking them for all that they do in honor of Father’s Day. The word father has many different meanings. For some it represents a biological father, for others it may indicate an adoptive father or a father figure who took on the role of a dad. A father is someone who raises a child, someone who nurtures them, guides them throughout their life, supports them and is their number one fan. Children Beyond Our Borders Inc. strives to help children be able to have a future that is bright and filled with possibility and we are grateful for the many fathers who share this vision and have worked hard to empower their children.
IAMCBOB Scholar, Jeison Alexander Orrego Toro, is thankful for the fundamental role that his father, Alexander de Jesús Orrego, has played in his life.
“I am grateful for him sacrificing his youth, for him giving me and my sisters what we needed,” Jeison said. “We have never lacked anything thanks to him. He is the best father of all. He is the most hard-working and persevering person I know, and he’s always striving hard to get what he wants.”
Yosimar Palacios Becerra, is an IAMCBOB scholar who has also learned important lessons from his father, Jose Luis Palacios.
“He has definitely shown me with his example and just with little things, so many lessons in my life, Yosimar said. “I have learned so many values from my father and I am so proud of him.”
Yosimar stated that he is most grateful for his father’s dedication, hard work and patience.
Another IAMCBOB scholar who has a lot to thank his dad for this year is Davian De Jesús Ortíz Velásquez.
Davian had this to say about his dad: “My father has been a fundamental support for my life and for my personal development. He has been a very strict, yet very valuable person in my life. My father is an indescribable person, but I would best describe him as a very enterprising person that is able to face many obstacles that life gives him. Despite so many difficulties, he has always been there for my family and willing to make a life for us.”
Children Beyond Our Borders’ Inc. Executive Director, Andrea Ortega has a special relationship with her father, Jairo Ortega, and sees him not only as her dad, but also as her best friend.
“My dad has been the provider for my family not just financially but also when it came to anything I needed emotionally,” Andrea said. “My dad has always been my best friend even through my crazy teenage years. He's always been understanding and someone I can talk to. The most important thing he has always taught me and supported me by is through education. For as long as I can remember my dad has said go to school, go to school and never stop.”
Andrea has learned important lessons from her father and still uses many of the things she learned from him today.
“He taught me to say sorry,” Andrea said. “While our lives haven't been perfect, I am lucky enough to remember the good things because of his ability to push through and put his love for his family first. He taught me money doesn't mean happiness because even when I think about the times we really struggled when he lost his job when I was like 12, I just remember being able to spend more time with him and still always making my education a priority. ”
Andrea has a lot of great memories with her father and recounted one tradition that her and father began when she was a child.
“There are so many wonderful memories with him, something we did all the way through High School was go to the movies EVERY Friday,” Andrea said. “He taught me family was more important than friends and anything else in life. If he was taking the time out every Friday to be with me, then I should too and it became our little tradition so even if there was a party or something I actually preferred going to the movies because it was with him and spending quality time with those we love.”
Whether you write a card, prepare a meal or make a phone call; be sure to express your gratitude in some way to the man that raised you this Father’s Day. Children Beyond Our Borders Inc. would like to say thank you to all of the wonderful fathers out there who have worked hard to protect, teach, provide for, and empower their children. Happy Father’s Day!
Students in the IAMCBOB scholarship program reflect on how the program has impacted their lives and helped them to reach their goals.
By: Micayla Kinder
IAMCBOB is a scholarship program funded through Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. that works to give students who face adversity in Colombia the chance to go to college. Colombia has one of the highest levels of social inequality in South America and this program aims to help these young adults pursue their dreams and have the opportunity to be the change they want to see in the world. Scholars receive an all-expense-paid college education, and in exchange act as service leaders to work to give back to their communities. The IAMCBOB scholarship program has been sponsoring five students this past year and has helped one IAMCBOB scholar to graduate! IAMCBOB has also selected five new students to be a part of the program: Andrea Cano, Juliana Cossio, Luisa Maria Bedoya, Yeny Lopez and Valentina Rincon. We are excited to be welcome them to the CBOB family and see them grow throughout their journey in college.
Last month Yosimar Palacios Becerra became the first IAMCBOB scholar to graduate and his life has been changed for the better. Yosimar spoke about how he is incredibly grateful for the IAMCBOB program.
“Being an IAMCBOB scholar has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. CBOB means the world to me and I will forever be grateful to it for changing my life,” Yosimar said. “They have shown me that nothing is impossible in life, and that you should never let anything or anyone stop you from making your dreams come true. If I can make it, everyone can.”
Yosimar went above and beyond his commitments as a scholar and was constantly volunteering with CBOB, putting on workshops and assisting with Bound for Peace trip logistics.
“This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I started volunteering as CBOB’s trip coordinator in Cartagena arranging hotels, food, excursions, workshops with the children and anything else that the volunteers may need,” Yosimar said. “I have been doing this for the last five years, so it is kind of crazy because I volunteer, work, and go to university, but I love it so there is no pain doing it. I want the best for the community and my dream is that more children will achieve their dreams like I am doing right now.”
Yosimar plans to continue working in the tourism industry and is excited to see what the future holds. He is currently in the United States starting an internship and will be there for three months.
Davian De Jesús Ortíz Velásquez is also an IAMCBOB scholar who has benefitted greatly from the program. Davian is studying Industrial Design in Medellin, Colombia and spoke briefly about his experience with the scholar’s program.
“It has been a wonderful experience since IAMCBOB opened the doors for a new and prosperous future for me,” Davian said. “Now I can get ahead and fight with better tools for my family and for everyone that needs my support. I have learned thousands of things for my personal and collective development.”
Jeison Alexander Orrego Toro, a Civil Engineering Student in Medellin, Colombia, is another IAMCBOB scholar. Jeison hopes to someday work and do a specialization in the United States.
“It has been the most valuable experience of my life,” Jeison said. “Since becoming a part of CBOB, I learn new things every day and I see my dreams get closer. I have met wonderful people and I hope to keep those friendships in my life.”
Jeison stated that though being in college is challenging, he is persevering with the help of those around him.
“The most difficult thing about being in university is leaving important things in your life aside in order to dedicate yourself to studying for exams,” Jeison said. “The university is a valuable and difficult stage in life. Thanks to the support of my family and CBOB, it has been an adventure, but thanks to God I do very well.”
You can become an IAMCBOB sponsor today and change someone’s life by helping them become empowered through education. By contributing any amount for these students you are not only providing them with the opportunity to better themselves, but also equipping them to better their communities and ultimately better the world. Visit www.chbob.org/iamcbob-scholarship to learn more about our IAMCBOB scholarship program and find out how you can become a sponsor.
Join us for this annual event as we create friendships, eat delicious food, and support the local children.
By: Karin Fazio
Mark your calendars for November 4th because Children Beyond Our Borders is holding the biggest CBOB event of the year. The 4th Annual Gala: A Building Block for Education is making its appearance in Orlando, Florida, this time at the Caribe Blu for the very first time. Every year our CBOB family gathers together for this black tie event to celebrate all of our efforts and accomplishments for the year, as well as discuss our vision for the future. Each year our Gala gives opportunities to help shape the lives of the children we serve.
A building block, defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary, is a basic unit from which something is built up. It’s also defined as a component that fits with others to form a whole. Our mission in CBOB is to “provide opportunities for children and youth affected by armed conflict and social injustice to find peace, prosperity and well-being through education and empowerment”. Not only are we providing an education for these children, but we are supplying them with the proper building blocks to achieve that education. Our main in focus is improving our facility for our children in Orlando and Gainesville to have a safe and loving environment to focus on the values the that we teach. With your help we can make this happen. With a small donation you can help us reach our goal.These will serve as a safe space for the children, where their educational needs can be met, a mere building block for them to follow their dreams through education. With the help of our donors, we can continue building our programs into bigger and better resources to encourage our children, who inspire us every single day while they push to expand their knowledge for a brighter future.
Meghana Tatineni, the Event Manager, has been working hard at finding sponsors for this event, as well as entertainment in hopes to make this event enjoyable for all of our hardworking members, as well as all of our supporters. We all at CBOB know that Gala is going to be a success with the efforts of Meghana, those working alongside her, and of course all of our attendees. Our previous Event Manager Carolina De La Rosa, who organized the 2016 Gala event, describes Gala as a “fun, memorable night and a great way to be reminded of what CBOB does for the community, while getting to dine and dance with people that share your love for service”.
Shana Call, our Volunteer Coordinator, says “Gala gave me an opportunity to be surrounded by people with the same mission in mind. It’s a wonderful networking experience. Each year members of the board, interns, managers, and individuals who have a love for CBOB all come together to support what is CBOB.” It is definitely a time to cherish and remember in the future years to come.
If you are new to CBOB and want to get to meet and connect with fellow active members this is the perfect way to do so. Our Mentorship Coordinator, Teagan Murphy, has been involved with CBOB for two years now and has attended the past two Gala events. The 2015 Gala event occurred when Teagan had only been involved with CBOB for a month. “It was a great way for me to see so many people who had been involved with or impacted by CBOB, including but also aside from the interns I worked with regularly” Murphy states.
For the 2016 Gala event, Teagan had now been involved for over a year and felt as if she was reuniting with the CBOB family rather than being introduced, both memorable in different ways. Here, Teagan was able to catch up with managers like our Executive Director and the Director of the Service Trip Program, the interns from other cities, and the girls she volunteered with in Cartagena on a Bound For Peace trip that previous summer. Teagan was rewarded CBOBer of the Year at the event for all of her hard work and was able to reflect back on the year. CBOB is so lucky to have members like Teagan who help achieve our goal and mission and that’s why Gala is such an important event. It allows for everyone to come together and celebrate a cause we all hold very dear to our hearts.
As you can see, the Gala is a wonderful social event for members, but more than anything else it is a night to raise money for our Children Within Our Borders program. Children Within Our Borders works with local children in the Gainesville and Orlando communities. Workshops and tutoring sessions are provided to help the children build not only an education, but confidence to succeed and follow their dreams.
Juanita Buitrago, the Service Trip Program Director, has attended the previous Galas and looks forward to attending every single year. Seeing individuals being highlighted for all of their hard work during the award portion is one of her favorite parts. Every single individual is what makes CBOB what it is today. Just like building blocks we are all individual pieces that comprise of one framework, providing the support and love for the children who fight against social injustice. Every year Gala awards are handed out for volunteers in appreciation of their time, efforts, and passion they put into the organization and the children.
If you are interested in supporting Children Beyond Our Borders by attending this event you can purchase tickets at www.chbob.org/gala.html For more information or on how to sponsor this event please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
With your help we can end the fight against social injustice and change the lives of all of the current and future children involved with Children Beyond Our Borders!
CBOB members come together for a weekend of team building activities to create unity and prepare for the new semester.
By: Micayla Kinder
On Saturday, the Children Beyond Our Borders team headed to Davenport, Florida, for their summer Member Retreat! Both returning and new VIP interns were present as well as executive-board members from the UCF and UF chapters. The retreat began at around 10 a.m. Saturday with the interns getting the opportunity to talk and get to know each other better. The VIP interns work together virtually, so the face-to-face interaction and quality time that the members got to have was very valuable and important for creating unity and establishing relationships to improve the communication that takes place for CBOB on a regular basis. Those attending the retreat were split into four teams: the pink team, the blue team, the green team and the purple team. Each group had a team captain and teams worked together throughout the day for several fun outdoor activities!
The sun was full ablaze as the teams walked outside and prepared themselves for the competition.The first game of the day was a high energy balloon stomp game. The game got heated and the competition was close, but in the end the blue team was victorious! The next activity was a friendly game of Tug-of-war. Though every team did their best, the green team won by a landslide (pun intended). The CBOB members then took a lunch/pool break and got to spend some time conversing. After a few brief conversations with people I was amazed to see how diverse the CBOB family is.
I met people with different career aspirations and from all different backgrounds. There were some students studying public relations and social sciences and others who were studying biomedical engineering and biochemistry. While it was easy to note our differences, it was also inspiring to see how so many different people can come together and be unified under a common cause.
Mariam Hussein, the UF Campus Communications Liaison, was touched by the power that CBOB had in bringing all of us together.
“One thing I took away from the retreat was that while all of the interns and e-board members come from different backgrounds and have different majors, we all want to make a difference and help better CBOB,” Hussein said.
It took the teams a little while to warm up to each other but by the end of the day everyone was laughing and having a good time. Teagan Murphy, the Mentorship Coordinator for CBOB, spoke about how her team transformed throughout the day.
“I really enjoyed working with my team. At first we were all a bit nervous and just wanted to get the activities over with, but we ended up becoming a bit competitive ourselves and really enjoyed the activities,” Murphy said.
The next activity on the agenda was an intense game of Twister. The teams chose their representatives wisely and the game ended in a three-way tie between the green, blue and purple team.
Around 5 p.m. the day came to a close with one final relay race. The teams gave it their all and raced to the finish line. When the points were added up the blue and green team tied for first place and they made the decision to share the prize. When the activities were completed, the members came together and shared their highs and lows from the day as well as any goals they had for the semester. Some members had goals that were specific to their position while others simply wanted to help CBOB grow as a whole. Valentina Betancur, one of the new fundraising interns, shared about how the retreat helped shape some of her goals for CBOB.
“Seeing how hard everyone was working for some of the events that CBOB is having definitely helped me to solidify my own fundraising goals and made me more serious about reaching them,” Betancur said.
Everyone took something away from the retreat and left feeling more connected to each other and to the CBOB mission.
“I think the retreat is beneficial because it really helps us to get to know each other and who you’re actually working with,” Betancur said. “Since this is a virtual internship, the people working and volunteering for the organization felt a little abstract to me. Then after meeting everyone and sweating with them, it helped solidify the whole experience.”
The semester is already off to a great start and after a really fun weekend together, the CBOB team is ready to work hard to make CBOB the very best is can be!
Meet the new team that will be handling all things CBOB this summer
By: Melissa Moreno
The Volunteer Internship Program (VIP) is a selective program that allows individuals to get involved in an international non-profit organization. VIP interns are treated as employees by encouraging independence, originality, and a stress-free environment. While participating in VIP, interns apply their academic skills to a hands-on experience in the nonprofit field. The overall goal of VIP is to encourage and empower our interns by providing life skills that can prepare them for a successful future.
The Summer 2017 team just started and we’d like to introduce them to the rest of our CBOB family!
Meet the Team: (Name, Position)
Juan Leon, Community Outreach - UF
Hi! I am a first year (soon to be second year) Biomedical Engineering major. CBOB is significant to me because of their vision, which boils down to empowerment through education. I immigrated from Ecuador when I was a teenager and struggled to integrate into American culture, so I see CBOB's mission as a very noble way to prevent other children from facing similar hardships. I am most looking forward to directly giving back to Gainesville's Latino community and helping to bring down any barrier that might stand in a child's way.
Baotran Duongkhuu, Community Outreach - UCF
My name is Baotran Duong, prefer to be called Bao. I'm a psychology major and I'm a senior at UCF. CBOB is significant to me because I love what this organization stands for. Whatever their situation may be, a child should feel happy and loved. Being a part of CBOB as a member and meeting the children has definitely touched my heart. What I'm looking forward to as an intern is giving more love and time to the children and families at Great Value Suites!
Lai Jing Su, Health Initiatives
Hi! I'm a rising third year student double majoring in Biochemistry and Spanish while on the premed track. CBOB is significant to me because it truly does empower young individuals to strive for a better future, whether it’s through the educational or medical resources that CBOB provides. This summer I am really looking forward to the Mobile Health Clinic event because the kids are great and it's just so great to see the positive impact it has on families.
Liana Grantges, Grant Writing
I will be a junior this year at the University of Florida, and am awaiting my application status for the Nursing major. Additionally, I obtained a Music Performance minor for the violin, an instrument I have been playing since I was five years old. Last year, I served as the Treasurer for the UF Chapter of Children Beyond our Borders, and am very excited to be continuing as an intern with VIP. I love writing and research, so I’m eager to put these passions to the wonderful cause that CBOB stands for. I am grateful to hold a position where the skills developed will translate to skills used in the medical field that I aspire to enter as a professional.
Micayla Kinder, Public Relations and Social Media
My name is Micayla Kinder and I am currently a senior at the University of Florida. I am a public relations student and my outside concentration is in nonprofit organizational leadership. I hope to one day work full time for an organization that is striving to help those in need and make an impact in their community. I love all things related to social media, photography and music. I am thrilled to be joining the CBOB team and am looking forward to an exciting summer.
Melissa Moreno, Public Relations and Social Media
My name is Melissa Moreno and I am currently a senior at the University of Florida studying public relations with a specialized focus in business. I am on schedule to graduate this upcoming December and I am very excited to do what I love and start my career. I started my internship at CBOB this summer semester, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity. Much of my family is from Colombia, so I feel a personal connection to the cause of this organization and to the children that we serve. I hope to contribute as much as I can to spread the word about the mission and passion of this organization to others in the community.
Karin Fazio, Public Relations and Social Media
I am currently a student at the University of Central Florida studying Social Sciences with a concentration in advertising. In the future, it is my personal goal to work for a nonprofit organization and use my knowledge of media communication to help the organization succeed and impact those in need. I think this internship position will help me grow as an individual as I learn skills and gain insight from a non-profit organization. I look forward to working with this team.
Tara Berg, Graphic Design
I’m going into my second year of studying graphic design at the University of Florida, and I love it. In the future, I hope to be utilizing graphic design for marketing purposes, whether that means working for a non-profit like CBOB, or a marketing firm. I’m really excited about my internship with CBOB this summer. I think that it will be really fulfilling to create designs that will ultimately benefit children both locally and globally. I love CBOB’s mission, and I’m honored to work for them.
Hali Reeves, Graphic Design
My name is Hali Reeves and I'm a graphic design major. I just finished my freshman year, so I still have a year before I officially apply to the graphic design program. CBOB is important to me because everyone in the world deserves to have the same opportunities as anyone else. CBOB helps to provide opportunities for people who may not have been born into many privileges and I think that's really meaningful for the way that the systems of our world and our country are growing and changing.
Samantha Boddupalli, Fundraising
My name is Samantha Boddupalli, and I'm a rising junior majoring in Neurobiological Sciences. CBOB is important to me because I am really passionate about education and empowerment through education. I can't wait to get to work and raise as much money as I can for CBOB!
Valentina Betancur, Fundraising
My name is Valentina Betancur, I am a second year student at the University of Florida. I am majoring in Economics and International Studies with a minor in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance. CBOB is significant to me because the educational opportunities that it is providing to children in other countries not only benefits those children, but also helps those countries to develop and better serve its people. As a fundraising intern, I am most excited to see how the donations that my partner and I raise will make an impact in the lives of the ones we are set to help.
Victoria Harrington, Student Chapters Coordinator
My name is Victoria Harrington, and I am currently a third year student at the University of Florida, with a double major in Geography and Anthropology alongside a minor in Japanese. I will be working with Children Beyond Our Borders as the Student Chapter Coordinator. I am extremely excited to work with this organization, as it aligns with my career goals of combining the computer software of Geography to research migration patterns of rural families, and help improve living conditions of these migrating individuals. I hope I am able to learn much more about professionalism for the job market after graduation, and can not wait to become more involved in the future!
Mariam Hussein, Campus Communications Liaison - UF
Hi! I am in my third year and I am currently majoring in Biology while also having a minor in Disabilities in Society. I hope to attend dental school after I graduate and one day open up a nonprofit dental clinic. I am excited about both being able to work first hand with a non-profit organization and also about being able to gain valuable experience. I hope to utilize the skills that I gain from this internship later on in my professional career.
Teagan Murphy, Mentorship Coordinator
My name is Teagan Murphy and I have just completed my second year at the University of Florida, double-majoring in Sociology and Family, Youth & Community Sciences. I have been working with CBOB for almost two years now, and I look forward to continuing this experience. Since January, I have been working on developing a mentoring program through CBOB for low-income high school students involved in our CWOB program in Orlando and attending Eastside High School in Gainesville. I will continue working on the development of this program throughout the summer and hopefully into the upcoming academic year.
Meghana Tatineni, Event Manager
Hello! I am a rising Junior at the University of Florida pursuing a bachelor of science in Statistics with a minor in Actuarial Science. After graduating from University of Florida, I aspire to work as a data analyst or a statistician. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Children Beyond Our Borders! During my internship, I hope to increase my professionalism and gain valuable communication skills. I am also looking forward to plan engaging events for Children Beyond Our Borders this summer.
Samira Amirova, Training Coordinator
As a senior sociology major at the University of Florida, I have made countless decisions both big and small. My best decision so far has been joining Children Beyond Our Borders in their fight to end social injustices among children. The VIP program has granted me an opportunity to develop as a leader and as a professional to ultimately become a successful physician. A significant feature of this program is the tireless support from the team. They are the embodiment of dignity, passion, and purpose. The team has influenced me into pushing beyond my own borders and capabilities to better my community. "You have two hands; one to help yourself and one to help others "
Carolina Pastor, Data Analyst
Hello! I am so grateful to have this amazing opportunity to work with such an amazing non-profit. I am a senior studying Information Systems and Operations Management at the University of Florida. In the future, I would like to find a career where I can combine my knowledge in Information Systems with non-profit. I want to help others excel and be a positive influence by using my background and skills to change lives.
Show the team some love! Share this blog and use the hashtag #CBOBinterns to make the team feel the CBOB spirit!
Celebrating CBOB Moms and Moms Across the World
By: Melissa Moreno
Mother’s Day is a holiday that comes once a year, typically held on the second Sunday of May, and celebrates motherhood as well as mothers and other motherly figures. It is a day for people to recognize the sacrifices, hard work, and love their mothers have provided for them, and to show their appreciation. Generally, the widely accepted custom for this day is to give your mother a gift - whether it be a card, candy, flowers, clothes, etc. Although it is observed in different forms across the world, one thing remains constant: Mother’s Day is a day that involves expressing great recognition and gratitude towards the woman that played a large role in someone’s individual development and personal growth.
When we are young, our whole worlds revolve around our mothers; anytime we need something, we call her. It is as if she inherently has all the answers to any problem in the world. As time goes on, we grow to become more independent and may lose sight of how much we truly depend on our mothers. It is because of this that Mother’s Day can be so significant to a mother and make her feel like all the work she has done has not gone unnoticed. Whether it is a gift, a note, or even a phone call - any form of appreciation can make a mom feel treasured.
According to the History Channel, more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. These holiday chats with mom are said to cause phone traffic to spike up by almost 37%. In the United States alone, Americans are said to spend $800 million on Mother’s Day cards and $2.4 billion on flowers. Needless to say, many people like to lavish their mothers on this holiday.
Children Beyond Our Borders has had the opportunity to work with many children and families, and has met countless honorable moms along the way. We recognize that moms try to provide the best that they can for their children, even when the state of their country’s political, economic and social climate is out of their control. CBOB works with communities and families so that children can be empowered and motivated to live to their fullest potential - which is all a mother ever wants for her child.
Yocasta Becerra is the mother to Yosimar, the first IAMCBOB scholar for Children Beyond Our Borders. As a recipient of the scholarship, Yosimar received an all expenses paid college education, and in exchange acted as a service leader to empower other youth to solve problems in his community.
Becerra is proud of her son for his achievements and is thankful to have been a part of CBOB and its activities with her community.
“I feel very happy to always be living an unforgettable experience whenever a group of volunteers comes. It is the best thing that has happened to us and to my family to know all those beautiful people,” Becerra said. “...I am very proud of my Yosi. Even though they were raised in a low-income neighborhood with many gangs and violence, Yosi and his brothers - thank God - knew how to overcome these obstacles, to avoid them, and to move forward with his motto that education is the foundation for a better future.”
Shana Call is the current volunteer coordinator for the organization and is a CBOB mom as well. Beginning in Fall 2016, Call fell in love with the organization and its mission to empower children through education. She felt it was important to share her love with CBOB and the children served with her son Charlie.
“Our conversations weren’t always easy when questioned about the how and why some of our children are faced with adversity, but it opened up an opportunity for us to work together and encouraged him to become socially active and aware of other children in need,” Call said. “I am proud of my son and his effort to make a difference. I am most grateful to CBOB for the opportunity to not only make a difference in the lives of the children we serve, but to also make a difference in my own child’s life as well.”
When asked how she would spend Mother’s Day, Becerra said that all she wanted was to stay home with her family and eat ice cream and Kokorico (a popular chain restaurant in Colombia). Call said that she would like nothing more than to spend quality time together with her mom and her children.
We are grateful and appreciative for Becerra and Call, and admire the love and dedication they have for educating and empowering their sons. We wish them and all the mothers out there a happy and exciting Mother’s Day!
In their third blog update, our EEI teachers Anna and Samantha discuss the academic and personal projects they have been working on with each of the four scholars in Medellín.
As our time in Medellin comes to an end we have been taking the time to reflect back on the goals we had set for ourselves and for the scholars back in January. In both high school and college both of us can recall the goals we set and the people that helped us carry them out. As our professional and personal roles have developed over time with the scholars, we made it our mission to help them determine in what ways CBOB can help them beyond just the idea of receiving an academic scholarship. After all, the whole point of the program is for them to give back to their community, and every time we meet with them, we realize more and more what they have already accomplished personally and with CBOB.
To start, this semester we have been so excited to see their CBOB project come to life week by week. They decided they wanted to implement a college preparation program at their former high school with a group of 20 or so students who were looking for help with the college process. Each week they prepare activities in three different areas: preparing for the college entrance exam, tutoring for their current math and science classes, and understanding the college system - what different majors are available to them, how to adjust to taking classes on your own schedule, and more. The program has a similar feel to New Horizons, the program where they all started their CBOB journey six years ago. New Horizons was designed as a mentorship program where they were given the tools for future college success, and it has served as a fundamental building block for our scholars’ education. We’ve talked at length with some of scholars about how being a part of CBOB and attending university has changed their lives. It’s made them realize what they want out of life, and what they’re capable of accomplishing. To watch them stand in front of a class of students and share their stories about how education has changed everything for them felt incredibly surreal. To watch them give tangible resources to these students and give some of them a chance at a brighter future filled us both with so much pride for them and for our organization. Seemingly small acts of service can lead to great successes, and these boys are creating change in an incredible way.
As each of them nears graduation in the next few years, we’ve opened the conversation for what comes next after CBOB. Each of them has different aspirations, but the common theme is that everyone would like to learn more English and have the opportunity to study abroad some day. Additionally, some of them would like to pursue a Master’s Degree in the future, but just like so many of us in the United States, a much deserved break post Undergrad seems to be more likely for the immediate future. We’ve taken the time to map out a timeline for each of them and set some realistic sights on what will be possible in the future. They have been doing their research, and what they are finding is promising. Regardless of what they end up doing, the work that has been put in these past six years with CBOB has solidified that with an education, everything can, and will change.
Until next time,
Samantha & Anna
By: Nicholas Regueiro
The real reason why you should join the CBOB team now or in the future.
When I first joined Children Beyond Our Borders, I was intrigued by its ability to capture an audience which was not quite necessarily its focus.
Children don’t have social media?
Children don’t have jobs or money to donate?
Children cannot quite possibly understand the current events we fund-raise for?
I then experienced my journey as a PR and Social Media Intern. Now, I understand. CBOBers are trying to reach individuals who can simply identify with the mission. I am forever indebted to this organization that gave me some of the best skills for my professional career.
I graduate in August with my masters, and I am actually – wait for it – excited. I am not dreading leaving the University of Florida. I am not panicking about who will hire me. I used to, but after all this time and everything Children Beyond Our Borders has given me, I feel ready and equipped. I have a network of over 100 people I can ask to critique my resume, to connect me with another professional, to give me advice on my next career move, or to simply grab a cup of coffee with me. It is this knowledge that makes me so content to be where I’m at: on the brink of launching my career and taking on new challenges.
Graduating terrified me, but when I think about what I’m capable of, I feel like I can take on the world. The fellow interns and managers I have met have helped me get through this last semester of college and have helped me grow as a professional. To the next VIP Interns, I wish you the best. This is a love letter to you all hoping that you will learn and grow as much as Spring 2017 VIPs have. Whether it is trying to figure out a posting schedule for a social or bonding over tabling for our events, your fellow interns will be come more than just colleagues, but they become friends.
By: Nancy Massani
“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela
Education is the foundation of our youth, the leaders and decision-makers of the future. It provides individuals with the skills to thrive as adults, as well as valuable information about history and various cultures. Today, the United States celebrates National Education and Sharing Day, which was first inaugurated on April 18, 1978 by President Jimmy Carter. Since then, this day has been proclaimed annually by the presiding President and calls on Americans to focus on education and the improvement of society, as well as empowering our youth to pursue their dreams. “National Education and Sharing Day is a day that was made by the United States Congress in honor of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.” It honors and recognizes his efforts for education and sharing for all people, regardless of their background.
This day is celebrated on the anniversary of the birth of Schneerson who dedicated his life to the importance of education. Throughout his lifetime, Schneerson founded various schools and educational centers. He focused on children’s need for education, the tool that provides them the necessities and opportunities to succeed.
“Our future is written in our classrooms, and on Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., we reaffirm our belief that no matter who they are, where they come from, or what they look like, every child deserves an education that will help them develop their unique talents and passions, dream beyond their present circumstances, and unlock their greatest potential.” - President Barack Obama
Students invest time and energy into educating themselves to build their future. Not only is higher education important, proper early childhood education is essential in ensuring that children will continue to work toward educating themselves after graduating high school. Educating children leads to them providing a better future for their families and countries. Education has the power to make the world a better place by reducing poverty, increasing income, boosting economic growth and fostering peace.
If students in poor countries left school with basic readings skills, approximately 171 million people could rise out of poverty. Research has shown that one extra year of schooling increases an individual’s earnings by up to 10 percent. Also, each extra year of schooling raises average annual gross domestic product growth by 0.37 percent.
Research has also shown that “if the enrollment rate for secondary schooling is 10 percentage points higher than the average, the risk of war is reduced by about 3 percentage points.” In addition to these benefits, education allows people to live healthier lives as well. “Children of educated mothers are more likely to be vaccinated and less likely to be stunted because of malnourishment.”
Higher education also contributes to the betterment of society. Higher levels of education lead to lower levels of poverty, unemployment, and incarceration rates. Those who are pursuing a college degree are also known to contribute more in society. These contributions include participating in volunteer work, community service, blood donation and voting in national elections. Students who receive a college degree obtain a wide range of benefits as well. Those who have obtained a college degree receive higher income earnings compared to those who stopped pursuing an education after high school. Therefore, it is less likely that these individuals will rely on help from the government, resulting in decreased demand on public budgets.
However, the participation in obtaining a college degree depends on family income, parent education level, and other demographic characteristics. Children with parents who have received a college degree are more likely to display greater levels of school readiness compared to children with parents who have not received a college degree. Tuition fees are also an issue. Although there are financial aid options, loans and scholarships available, they are not always easy to obtain. Many students graduate with debt due to having to take out loans. In the end, research has shown that higher education does pay off. It benefits and delivers a high rate of return for both students and society.
Without education, people would not have the ability to communicate, read, write or even calculate. Therefore, these individuals lack the necessary skills to obtain a well-paying job, which results in families being pushed deeper into poverty. Education allows individuals to contribute not only to their community but to their country as well, which is important when ensuring the best for a community. Educated individuals are needed for jobs and to ensure our country is running successfully. It is essential for a secure future and a stable life.
The importance of CBOB is that we strive to educate individuals to help them prosper and live out their dreams and aspirations. Education is the key to ending trends of violence and displacement. With our Children Within Our Borders program, it is our mission to provide opportunities for at-risk youth in our local communities that will support and motivate them to further their education. We strive to do this by providing youth with tutoring services, creating workshops that stimulate self-esteem, interest, curiosity and innovation, and teaching sustainable life-skills.
We believe that every child, regardless of social status, race or gender, deserves a proper education. Every child deserves to live a stable life without barriers or fear and live to pursue their dreams. Children deserve a brighter future. One that breaks boundaries and goes beyond borders.
At Children Beyond Our Borders we like to think of ourselves as a family. Become a part of this family and help us work toward a future where every child receives an education.
Education = Empowerment. Add yourself to the equation.
By Veronica Salazar
Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. (CBOB) works tirelessly to provide opportunities for children and youth affected by armed conflict and social injustice through education and empowerment. The Volunteer Internship Program (VIP) is essential to this initiative, as interns are responsible for much of the organization’s growth and success.
Being an intern at CBOB is unlike anywhere else; interns are treated as employees by encouraging independence and originality in a predominantly virtual sphere. With this type of structure, interns have the ability to work from anywhere, learn the ins and outs of an international non-profit, gain career-specific training, build a professional network, and more.
Now that the spring semester is coming to an end, we’d like to share what some of our interns have to say about their time being involved in VIP:
Amanda Gebelhoff (Creative Director):
“VIP has played a huge role in my professional and personal growth. I don't think I would be who I am today if it wasn't for CBOB and I'm so sad to leave this semester, but it is time for me to move on. I started out as a Graphic Design Intern who knew so little. I pushed myself to learn more and grow in my skills for CBOB and myself. I improved and expanded my scope on CBOB so much that I was promoted to Creative Director. I love my position in keeping the CBOB brand consistent and doing graphics for our larger events. I especially love interacting with other interns and helping them grow in their position. CBOB has always been a little family to me and I love all of the friends and connections I have made from being a CBOBer. I always recommend applying for a position with us to my friends or even people who ask me what I do for CBOB. Being part of VIP is a great experience for anyone looking to have a REAL job, not just getting coffee, and help run an organization that does truly inspiring and great things.”
Samira Amirova (Training Coordinator):
“VIP has been an investment for me. From careful decisions and insightful experiences, I couldn’t have enjoyed growing from any other organization. My past year in VIP has given me a mentor, practical skills, and well needed sass.” #RushCBOB
Nada Hussein (Student Chapter Coordinator):
“Through VIP, I have learned a lot about delayed gratification. Through the work that Children Beyond Our Borders does, you truly feel as though you are a part of something bigger than yourself. Though you do not see rewards of the work you do immediately, you know that someone will benefit from it tremendously. Working on the VIP team, I got to immerse myself in an environment where everyone you meet along the way is truly passionate about what they do!”
Jessie Stein (PR/Social Media):
“VIP has been a never ending learning experience. While I have learned countless new skills along the way, I have also learned how to strengthen skills I already had. The VIP experience taught me how to better manage my time to stay organized amongst the workload during hectic weeks. It also strengthened my skills working with a team and gave me more confidence in reaching out and asking questions when I needed help. I'm so grateful to have been given this opportunity and can't wait to incorporate these learning experiences in my career after graduation.”
Teagan Murphy (Campus Communications Liaison):
“So I've been with CBOB for 4 semesters and it has definitely helped me grow professionally. Many of the positions are entirely intern-run, so individuals could be assigned several important jobs. The experience I’ve gained has helped me move onto other positions and receive other opportunities. I applied for an internship at Southern Legal Counsel and they said I was the most experienced candidate they had because of the work I’ve done with CBOB. There’s so much room for growth while working with CBOB. I have watched several interns show their true potential and become promoted to positions such as Creative Director and Service Trip Director within one year of working for the organization. Supervisors are always looking for ways to improve the organization and listen to any ideas you might have. I proposed an idea to Andrea for a College Prep Mentoring Program for low-income high school students that has since taken off. I am now working on the program's development, and I was recently offered an official position as the Mentorship Coordinator. Overall, the VIP program provides an incredible opportunity for cultivating and demonstrating your potential.”
Sabrina Siegel (Graphic Design Intern):
“As a CBOB intern, I have been able to build my portfolio, meet passionate people, and work with a great organization. Because of this experience, I am a better designer and am more prepared for real client work.”
Joshua Everling (Fundraising Intern):
“I knew I had joined an awesome organization when I attended my first event. We traveled up to Alachua for a workshop with some children. The experience was incredible- I interacted with kids and CBOB members in a way that reshaped how I felt about my internship. I finally understood why everyone at CBOB cared so much about the organization. Once I knew why I was volunteering I felt that I had a responsibility to help CBOB become more involved in empowering children. I would consider my interns to be great friends and I will be sad to see my internship end. If I could say something to a prospective intern, it is to take every opportunity to go to events and fundraisers because they changed my whole world view.”
If you’re interested in joining our team, applications for our Summer Internship Program are now available!
Apply at chbob.org/apply. For more information about position descriptions, visit chbob.org/volunteer-internship-program. Applications are due April 9th.