Hundreds of young students from the Puerto Rico Youth ChalleNGe Academy in Juana Diaz staged three days of community solidarity last week by performing volunteer work services in different schools, organizations nonprofits, government agencies, communities and ecosystem care, as part of the celebration of an initiative that seeks to develop empathy and social commitment among the youth population on the island.
Matilde Almodovar Acosta, director and creator of this initiative, commented that these activities respond to an essential component that they develop in students as part of the innovative curriculum presented by this Academy that merges education, social commitment and behavior modification in young people from 16 to 18 years old. “In each class we fulfill the community hours required for higher level students; but we also designate specific days where all our enrollment and human resources are integrated to benefit social causes by carrying out volunteer work that varies from accompanying and visiting our senior citizens, such as cleaning homes, preparing community sports facilities. or ensure the environmental health of our beaches, among other things,” commented the educator with an extensive background in social work.
On this occasion, the students had the opportunity to carry out work in different municipalities of the southern region, investing more than 100 hours in the Community Solidarity Project that in the city of Ponce and Villalba impacted Homes for the Elderly by conditioning the green areas, common areas for residents and renewing the paint of the place. They also enjoyed the stories of the elderly and served as company while they played traditional Bingo or Dominoes.
In Juana Díaz, the Manuel Fernández Juncos schools and the large hall of the School Band, the young people were able to collaborate in the conditioning of the facilities by carrying out painting, cleaning and organizing documents prior to the start of school this week. At the Center for Educational Opportunities for Adults of Ponce, a group of talented young people, together with the plastic artist Jean Ortiz, created a Mural of National Symbols that decorate the walls of the campus located in the Sabanetas sector of the city and that can be seen from the highway.
In the La Guancha Recreation Center, the Tibes Ceremonial Center, the Luis A. Wito Morales Park, Villa Pesquera, the Salvador Dijols Court in Ponce and in the Development Training Center Multidisciplinary Sports Center of Sabana Grande, the young people conditioned the green areas and facilities in general with the purpose of keeping the community sports centers in optimal conditions.
In San German, they contributed several hours in social service in a children's home, bringing joy, games and collaborating in the organization of their materials and uniforms for the start of classes. While in Guánica, the Caña Gorda spa was the subject of a major cleaning, contributing to improving the ecosystem of this beach; Similarly, in Juana Díaz, Bizarreta Beach was prepared prior to the summer closing activities carried out in that community.
With these activities, young people increase the social commitment that the Academy instructs them in with the conviction that with this approach we can guide youth to become the solution and not the social problem of our country.