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Student Life Staff Inspired by Mizzou Alternative Breaks Trip

Three staff accompanied 19 students to Nicaragua in January

Published Feb. 2, 2015
As shared by Alyssa Bilyeu, graduate assistant

Alyssa Bilyeu, Michelle Murphy and Kaci Drennan

Three Student Life staff accompanied 19 Mizzou students the week of Jan. 10, 2015, to teach English to school-aged children in Jinotega, Nicargua, with an international education service organization, Outreach 360. This photo was taken at the top of the mountain overlooking Jinotega. The hike is a 1,000 stair hike referred to as "Peña de La Cruz." Pictured, from left, are: Alyssa Bilyeu, Center for Leadership and Service graduate assistant, Michelle Murphy, Center for Leadership and Service senior coordinator, and Kaci Drennan, Campus Activities coordinator.

"In January, three Student Life staff and 19 MU students travelled to the Villa La Cruz neighborhood in Jinotega, Nicaragua, as part of a Mizzou Alternative Breaks winter international service trip. These students and staff taught English to school-aged children with the  international education organization Outreach360.

"In a summer camp-like setting, Mizzou students created interactive and fun lesson plans for 12 short class sessions every day for four days. They taught the children about time, school supplies, grammar and more.

"It was inspiring to see MU students turning the tables and becoming teachers to the bright young minds of Nicaragua. Education major or not, our students taught in some of the most creative and engaging ways at camp. Relay races were used to teach time and parachutes were used to teach prepositions. Our group worked so hard each night preparing their lesson plans and showing immense creativity for children they barely knew.

"It was surprising to see the Nicaraguan children forming such strong bonds with our students only after four days. It made leaving Nicaragua difficult as the children we worked with have the success odds stacked against them. These children are so eager to learn, and Outreach360 is doing a great job helping them build futures for themselves.

"I know our students will come back having a deeper appreciation for the precious gift of education they have here at MU and a desire to continue serving in the Columbia community. Our students are truly remarkable and remind us of why we love Mizzou!"

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Last updated: Aug. 15, 2017