While some high school students use Spring break as an outlet to release all of the pent up stress from the school year, a select few utilize the time off from school to do something philanthropic. One of these students is Ally Clark, a junior at Pacifica. Rather than partying it up at Coachella, or bronzing herself on the beach, Ally Clark chose to travel to the Dominican Republic on a Service Project.
Ally traveled with a group of students grades 10-12 from California, Illinois, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina and New York. Her service trip was through GLA (Global Leadership Adventures). GLA operates volunteer programs in developing countries in non tourist communities. Through this service trip, Ally says she “developed meaningful relationships with local people as well as the students she served with” and was able to “make a significant impact on an impoverished community.”
Each day Ally and her service team worked in the morning on a bottle house school. Yes it is what you’re thinking. The bottle house schools are constructed from cement, wood, plastic bottles and chicken wire. “I’m happy to say that I contributed to building a school for deserving children. Before this new school there was only one small private school two miles from this community. Children were required to have pencils, shoes, a backpack, uniform and a lunch everyday. Most families could not pay for their children to have all the essentials, so the kids were unable to be educated. Now, through our new school, education for everyone is possible and free!” Clark elatedly explains. After three hours of hard work in the sun, Ally says she and her group were “rewarded with a delicious lunch made by the members of the community and were given time to play with the little kids.”
After their work was done for the day, the group headed to the beach for volleyball, tanning, swimming and wifi, so at least Ally got some luxuries on her time off. Clark explains that “on the fourth day, we didn’t have to work so we went to DuDu Lagoon” for “cliff jumping, zip lining, soccer and a tour of the underwater caves and a snorkeling excursion.”
After reflecting on her time of altruism and adventures in the D.R., Ally explains that she has “been impacted in such a significant way.” She is “so beyond grateful that [she] had this opportunity. [She] has never felt so close to God and connected to third world problems.”