CBOB’s Student Chapter Presidents open up about what they do and how working with CBOB has impacted their lives.
By Micayla Kinder
Every school year Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. student chapter members work to raise awareness on campus and throughout their communities about where child poverty, social injustice and internal displacement is found. Members participate in educational workshops, fundraisers for special projects and also help organize Bound For Peace service trips.
Sofia Camara is the president of FSU’s student chapter. This is her first year serving as president and she spoke briefly about her experience.
Sofia found out about the Student Chapter through NoleCentral: a website where students can learn about the different clubs on campus.
“My favorite part of being involved in CBOB is seeing the difference we make first hand,” Sofia said. “After going to Colombia last year for CBOB, I fell even more in love with this club.”
Sofia believes that joining the CBOB team is the best decision someone can make and that it’s a learning experience that no one should pass up.
“It is not too time consuming so you can focus on school work and other activities. You can also get a lot of hands-on experience with volunteering with kids in Tallahassee, as well as general fundraising around our campus. Of course the best opportunity is to go on a trip to help children in underprivileged areas beyond the United States.”
Yanelis Diaz is the President of UCF’s student chapter. Yanelis had a lot to say about how her time working with CBOB has impacted her life.
"I have been involved with UCF’s student chapter since April 2016 and CBOB in general since January 2016,” Yanelis said. “My journey with CBOB started when I went to volunteer for a CWOB event that my friend heard in an announcement in her class. I would have never foreseen, after attending that one event, that I would be sitting here in my second year as President of the UCF Chapter, have completed a Bound for Peace Trip to Colombia as a Trip Leader, continued to be a Lead Tutor for CWOB’s Weekly Tutoring and helped kickoff a Summer Science Camp for children in our community with the help of CWOB. As president, I help connect others to all the amazing service opportunities CBOB has given me access to and ensure that all members truly understand our mission.
We are more than an organization looking to check hours off service hours, we strive to engage with the children we work with so they can continue to empower themselves when CBOB is not around. The UCF chapter is always working together with CWOB to make sure the children we have been working with for two years now are always given the best quality program to participate in, from monthly events to weekly tutoring. Furthermore we provide socials for our like-minded members, that want to make this world a better place so they can socialize and bond in a non-academic setting. Something new we are trying this semester is using half of the time of our hour-long biweekly meetings to make activities/gifts for the children we work with; by doing so we even get to use our meeting time to give back to our community. Since being a part of CBOB I value the power of building relationships and support more- that’s really all that children want from us when we are with them. To anyone out there thinking about joining the UCF Chapter: I encourage you to do so to not only help empower a child, but yourself."
Last but not least, UF’s Student Chapter President is Kiki Dowell. Kiki served as the vice president of the organization last year and began serving as the president last summer.
“As President, I work hand and hand with UF student government and the CBOB executive board to plan fundraisers, socials, awareness events, and community service events,” Kiki said
The Student Chapters hold a number of events throughout the year. Kiki stated that the event that has impacted her most is the CBOB mobile outreach clinic.
“My favorite events are the mobile outreach clinics,” Kiki said. “We come together to provide free healthcare to the children we work with. Through these experiences, I have been able to see first-hand the barriers for health care in our community. It has been a life changing experience. In the future, I hope to carry the mission to help vulnerable populations as I aspire to become a doctor.”
Kiki along with the rest of the UF Student Chapter members are strong advocators of the mission that Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. strives to uphold: the mission of using education as a tool to empower children across the globe.
“I believe education is the pathway to success,” Kiki said. “The UF Student Chapter strives to help children in Alachua succeed in school. We encourage them to reach for their dreams. We support them through offering free tutoring services.”
If you are a student interested in social justice including peace initiatives, youth empowerment, community service, youth education, Latin American studies, sustainability studies, family and social wellness, science and technology, public relations, nonprofit management, or any other field related to CBOB’s mission, consider coming to a chapter meeting and find out how to get more involved!
For more information on the Student Chapters visit www.chbob.org/student-chapters