By: Maria Aguila
Happy Halloween! Did you know that many years ago, the Celts who lived in Europe and on the British Isle believed that the souls of the dead came and visited Earth each last day of October? For this reason, the Celts would have a festival honoring the souls of the dead called Samhain which later came to be know as Halloween.
On this well-known day, many events are going on throughout the month. For the Children Beyond Our Borders family, this day gave the opportunity to host a “Trunk-Or-Treat” event which turned out to be a great success. This event was CBOB’s very first Trunk-Or-Treat competition in which participants decorated their cars to help create a safe environment for children to celebrate Halloween. The participants who won the competition with the best decorations won two tickets to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. The event took place last Saturday, October 21st, in Orlando, Florida.
CBOB aspires to educate children as well as allow them to be children throughout the hardships they are enduring, and it was inspiring watching over 80 children share their happiness and excitement with the CBOB team as they learned about Halloween and got to Trunk-Or-Treat. Last years Trunk-Or-Treat was also a success, and CBOB is proud to be giving back to their communities. Here are some pictures of the event:
Fortunately, if you missed the Trunk-Or-Treat event, CBOB has a spooktacular event awaiting you. Get into the Halloween spirit on October 28th and join us for an event of a lifetime! This upcoming workshop, Spooktacular Saturday, will get children into the Halloween spirit by informing them of how exactly Halloween came to be while incorporating tons of fun, creative, and educational activities. This is an event you don’t want to miss. The Spooktacular Saturday workshop will be fun for kids of all ages, so join us as we celebrate Halloween together and bring our children closer as the CBOB family at 13719 NW 146th Ave, Alachua, Florida 32615 from 10:30AM-2:30PM. See you there, and Happy Halloween!
Sources: The History Of Halloween,
Where are they now?
by: Maria Aguila
Children Beyond Our Borders was founded in 2003 by four University of Florida students that were inspired and motivated to make a lasting difference in our world. Ever since 2003, CBOB has been blessed with countless welcomes and farewells; some farewells being temporary. CBOB has embraced and kept contact with many of the individuals that decided their mission was to give children in need a lifetime of happiness. Despite all the new marvelous volunteers and interns each semester, our past members remain family. CBOB is on a constant, never-ending journey to improve communities across the world. Thanks to our past and current CBOB members, we have begun to create a world with an abundance of serenity and knowledge.
Sophia Gianfrancisco was a past Public Relations and Social Media intern involved with the VIP program here at CBOB. This organization helped her realize a calling of hers - helping and connecting with people on a personal level. She also took advantage of our BFP mission trip opportunities in order to help children in need with hands on hands activities.
“Since CBOB I moved out to Colorado and worked as a Zero Waste Coordinator, helping to make local events waste free. As part of my job I got to sort through a lot of trash and help educate the community on which products go where, and the end result of certain habits that we often don't think twice about. I love sustainability and doing my part to help the environment but I think I really miss connecting with people past a surface level. I recently moved back to Florida and am looking into more opportunities that are centered around helping low income and underprivileged students and families. I have CBOB to thank for so much and really appreciate the work that you all continue to carry on because it is so important!” - Sophia Gianfrancisco.
Another former intern that partook in our VIP program is Anna Diakun. Anna was a Service Trip Director, and has continued to prosper and flourish through her intense desire to help others. CBOB was the first step in becoming what she has wanted to be her entire life, an aspiring Social Worker.
“When I finished working for CBOB in May, I went on a trip to Istanbul, Turkey; to experience the beautiful culture, learn about all the history, and to visit 6 friends from Turkey that studied in the US! Then, since the start of fall- I have started a Master's degree in Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an aspiring Social Worker, I am looking forward to advocating for changes in society that promote more equality and equity for its members, particularly focusing on children. Ways I hope to make changes are by working with nonprofits, community agencies, and by working on policy changes. I also am working towards becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) to provide counseling and mental health services to children, adolescents, and families. I am always open and available for anyone who has questions about becoming a Social Worker or what all you can do in the field of Social Work, or even if anyone has questions about Graduate school, UNC, anything!” - Anna Diakun.
Karin Fazio is another very involved, previous intern of ours in the VIP program. Karin was part of the Public Relations team, and has continued to help others beyond CBOB.
"This Fall I've been mainly focused on preparing for my study abroad trip this Spring! I've been given the amazing opportunity to study Communications over at IE University in Segovia, Spain! Aside from this, I've been working closely with Global UCF as well as the Office of Student Involvement marketing team whenever I'm not in class or at work." - Karin Fazio.
Past CBOB members have continued to give wings to those scared to soar, and that is truly inspiring. We are proud to say that they have continued to positively impact the lives of others, despite the organization. Our former members are achieving great things and fulfilling their own dreams at the same time. Good luck to our alumni, we are hesitant to hear about what you’ll accomplish next!
CBOB's managers open up about their jobs and love for CBOB.
From workshops every month, to weekly tutoring, to international Bound for Peace trips, running Children Beyond Our Borders is not an easy task. Here’s a closer look at the team who makes it all work behind the scenes.
Marian Segura: Student Chapter Coordinator
Marian is a student at the University of Florida where she is studying Communication Disorders. She is Pre-Med and hopes to one day be a Pediatric Surgeon. As Student Chapter Coordinator, her responsibilities include making sure all the chapters (UF, UCF, AND FSU) are in constant communication with the Nonprofit Organization, Inc. All the chapters have different expectations for each semester, and she works to help them achieve these goals. Something you might not know about her is that she was born in Cuba, and her Hispanic heritage is one of the reasons she feels so connected to this organization.
Juan Leon: Volunteer Coordinator
Juan is a second-year student at the University of Florida where he is studying Biomedical Engineering. He first got involved with CBOB through VIP (Volunteer Internship Program) and loved it so much that he is now one of our managers! Juan is originally from Ecuador, having immigrated to the US at the age of 13, and has a passion for helping those in his same shoes. As Volunteer Coordinator, Juan’s responsibilities include overseeing the workshops at UCF and UF, running the tutoring events, and also managing the Health Initiatives branch of CBOB, including our free pediatric community clinic. A fun fact about Juan is that he has been playing classical guitar for the past three years and is actually minoring in Music Performance.
Shana Call: Operations Director
Shana first got involved with CBOB during her senior year at the University of Florida, where she began as the grant writing intern. One of her favorite experiences from her time with CBOB is working at the monthly workshops. “They all have different personalities and needs but ultimately we find a way to get a positive reaction from them which makes our work worthwhile,” says Shana. As Operations Director, her responsibilities include directing VIP. She is very involved, making sure the interns are not overwhelmed, get the support they need, and are making their respective departments as successful as can be. When she’s not busy with CBOB, her favorite hobby is creative writing.
Melissa Moreno: Creative Director
Originally from Miami, Melissa came to the University of Florida in 2015 and is graduating this upcoming December with a degree in Public Relations. She first got involved with CBOB this summer as one of the public relations interns. She worked her way up to Creative Director, where her responsibilities now include overlooking all the PR campaigns of the organization and maintaining CBOB’s branding and mission. For Melissa, one of her most memorable CBOB experiences was the Summer Retreat, where she got to meet and bond with the whole team. Outside of CBOB, Melissa just got a new puppy named Stella, and as Melissa says, she is “the cutest thing alive!”
Teagan Murphy: Mentorship Director
Teagan is a third-year student at the University of Florida majoring in Family, Youth & Community Sciences with a minor in Nonprofit Organizational Leadership. She has a passion for fighting societal inequalities and social injustices through nonprofit work, which is clearly reflected in both her major and involvement with CBOB. Teagan first got involved through VIP as the fundraising intern during fall 2015. She was promoted to Mentorship Director after she developed the College Prep Mentoring Program, which helps low-income students in Gainesville and Orlando prepare for college. Her responsibilities now also include overseeing the IAMCBOB Scholarship Program and managing the professional development activities for our scholars in Colombia. As if all of her work for CBOB in Florida is not enough, Teagan served on the Bound for Peace trip to Cartagena, Colombia in May 2016.
“Through this trip, I was able to work with a group of incredible, fun-loving kids and create long-lasting bonds with both fellow BFP volunteers and local volunteers from the area we served. The trip left such an impact on me that the following year I went back to Cartagena on my own to visit the kids I met and the friends I made while volunteering. During this return trip, I was also able to attend our first scholar's college graduation celebration, and meet our four other scholars from Medellin who were in town for the celebration. I had an incredible time catching up with old friends and making new ones!”
Endrina Fernandez: Director of Service Trip Program
Endrina was born in Venezuela and is a University of Florida Gator. She first got involved with CBOB in 2015 when she participated in a service trip to Cartagena for two weeks. She returned with a love for CBOB and decided to dedicate more of her time to the organization. Now, as Director of the Service Trip Program, she is responsible for all Bound For Peace trips, the very trip she first got started with. Her favorite experience so far has been connecting with all the children on the service trip. While in Cartagena, she connected with the kids and shared many amazing experiences with them, and they even taught her a dance! Not only did she love spending time with the kids, but had a great time exploring the city as well.
"Cartagena has beautiful scenery and culture, which made it overall an unforgettable experience. Joining Cartagena BFP trip is what motivated me to come back to CBOB and do more. Each kid has a way of demonstrating genuine friendship and appreciation that touches your heart, as cliche as that may sound," says Endrina.
Andrea Ortega: Executive Director
Andrea is currently pursuing her PhD in Public Administration at the University of Central Florida. She is happily married and is expecting her first child, Gaby, very soon! As Executive Director, she has major influence on the team. Her responsibilities include making sure everyone is communicating, and stepping in to solve any issues that arise. She says that if it was not for her amazing team, her job would be way harder.
CBOB has impacted Andrea's life in more ways than one: she actually met her husband on a CBOB trip in 2012! She first got involved with CBOB back in 2009. When she heard there was an organization that allowed you to travel and help kids in Colombia, she was instantly attracted to the program. Since then, she has traveled on a total of 5 Bound for Peace trips! She has not only learned so much about patience and resilience on these trips, but she believes that they have made her a better person overall as well. Her trips have left her with so many memories, some leaving lasting impressions. So many inspiring moments happen in Bound for Peace trips, but one of her favorite stories to tell occurred on a trip to Medellin, Colombia. The members of the trip raised enough money to buy blankets for every single child at a home in Medellin, about 80 kids.
"So, the story is that they planned the best tuck-in night ever, they all helped them eat their snacks, read them bedtime stories, tucked each child in and gave them a kiss goodnight before leaving the home. One child started crying and the volunteer asked 'Why are you crying?' and he said 'Because no one has ever tucked me in before.' I bawled that night, literally everything changed in me when and even my relationship changed with my parents," said Andrea.
Gina Castaño: Development Director
Gina was born in Cali, Colombia and is both a board member and Development Director for CBOB. In addition to CBOB, she is a Teach for America Corps member, teaches a third-grade class in Orlando, is a salsa dancer, Zumba instructor, vegetarian, and human rights activist. As Development Director, her job has led to a talented team of bright interns. She is in charge of work such as partnering with local businesses to host fundraisers, meeting with potential donors, writing the 5-year plan, and more!
She first heard of CBOB during her freshman year at the University of Florida. She is always looking for ways to visit and work in her native Colombia, so the Bound for Peace trips were the perfect opportunity for her. She describes both trips as “incredible and memorable” and says that it is difficult to describe her amazing experiences without crying. She even has “Bound for Peace” tattooed on her collar bone!
A fun fact about her is that she has a 30 under 30 goal: to visit 30 countries before she turns 30. She has three years left and just 9 countries to go!
Get ready to dress up, have fun and give back at Children Beyond Our Border’s fourth annual Gala!
By: Micayla Kinder
It’s almost here! Our fourth annual Gala is right around the corner! Join Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. for this black tie event and celebrate our accomplishments from the year! This event will help us to expand our programs which currently serve over 1,130 children abroad and locally. This year Gala will take place on November 4th at Caribe Blu in Orlando, Florida and the theme is: A Building Block For Education! Members of the community, as well as CBOB interns and volunteers all come together each year for this spectacular event. This year our main focus is improving our facilities for our children in Orlando and Gainesville so that children can have a safe and loving environment to focus on the values the that we teach. With your help, we can achieve that goal and do so much more!
To understand why Gala is such an important and incredible event, you should first know a little more about the organization that Gala supports. Children Beyond Our Borders Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering children through education both in the United States and internationally. CBOB’s mission 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.” 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 an education, as well as help give them the confidence to succeed and follow their dreams. They have five main programs which include Children Within Our Borders, Bound For Peace, the Volunteer Internship Program, the IAMCBOB Scholars Program, and our Student Chapters. Each program is unique but all of them work together to achieve the common purpose of providing children with education so that their future is bright and so that they can have the tools they need to make this world a better place.
So why should you attend Gala? Gala is a wonderful opportunity to give to a good cause and enjoy a night filled with great food, dancing, silent auctions! This year our wonderful donors have donated incredible items that you will have the chance to win in our silent auction! Some of the items include two 30-minute sessions at the Floating Lotus Spa, two admission tickets to Busch Gardens, and four admission tickets to the Kennedy Space Center. Gala is not only a time to give back but it is also a great opportunity to connect with those involved in Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc.
Teagan Murphy, CBOB’s Mentorship Coordinator, has attended Gala in the past and has made a lot of great memories there.
“The most exciting part is to see everyone with a love for this organization come together for a formal yet fun night of dinner and dancing,” Teagan said. “My favorite memory was when I got to reunite with three girls from my Bound for Peace trip the summer before, and all four of us received different CBOB awards!”
Teagan also emphasized that the funds that Gala raises all go toward bettering the next generation through education.
“Gala raises money for our Children Within Our Borders programs, which provide at-risk youth in Alachua, Orlando, and Tallahassee with opportunities like tutoring, weekend workshops, and summer camps,” Teagan said.
CBOB’s Operation’s Director Shana Call, has also attended Gala and had nothing but good things to say about the event.
“Gala is such an important event for CBOB,” Shana said. “It is not only a wonderful community fundraising event, it allows us to recognize the hard work and efforts of those who help make CBOB successful. This formal affair is an excellent networking opportunity and puts like-minded people in touch with each other in hopes of building a stronger bond to further our mission.”
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