July 11th 2014
2014 marks the second year of UPI’s Ambassadors of Promise program, and we’ve been blessed to see it grow in exciting ways. Last year, we had two participants and one hosting site. This year, we have 4 students working at 3 different UrbanPromise locations around the world! What better way to share the experience than through the words of our students who are on the ground, tasting new foods, making new friends, and learning much about themselves along the way. Here are their stories:
My first week:
It is the middle of my first week being in Miami and i can honestly say i love it here. Everyone is so welcoming and very nice. When i first came here i did not think it will be easy to interact with the other StreetLeaders but they made it easy by introducing themselves to me first. Derrick, the camp director, does a great job with running the whole camp. The kids absolutely love him when he does opening program and is very energetic with them. I can tell that he will do anything for the kids and StreetLeaders to be happy. Staying at the intern house gave me the chance to get to know all of the interns, Derrick, and Jessie, the StreetLeader coordinator. They all were welcoming me into their house. It’s nice staying with them because I get to know the interns very well.
We did not go to church this morning except some people because the rest of us woke up too late, but that did not stop us from worshiping God. The whole afternoon two roommates and I, Jessie and Ty were listening and singing to worship music to thank God for everything he has done for us. This moment had to be one of the best moments in my life. I felt so good for the rest of the day. After we were done we ate lunch together and walked to the site to watch anime cartoons and movies. We were there till about 9 or 10 at night. It was a fun night because we all were laughing and just enjoying the time together.
So this summer I agreed to something incredible; I decided to go to Honduras, a country outside of the United States, for three weeks. There I would go and work with the UrbanPromise ministry down there: UrbanPromise Honduras. The entire trip was free, which included travel, living quarters, and meals.
How could this be possible? Well, thanks to my one hallway of a school, UrbanPromise Academy, I became an Ambassador. The Ambassadors of Promise program is an opportunity for StreetLeader involved with any one of the UrbanPromise ministries’ AfterSchool programs. My site in Camden, New Jersey asked youth if they wanted to be an Ambassador for the summer, and I happily agreed. Because of the director of Ambassadors of Promise, Margaret Wooten, I am now in Honduras. This is the farthest the program has ever taken a kid. In the future, about two years, they hope to send someone to Uganda and Malawi, Africa.
Copan, Honduras is not so different from Camden, New Jersey. In Copan, there are pulperias which are the Camden equivalent to corner stores. The people are the same; however, people in Honduras don’t smoke as much as people do in Camden. The teens here are the same also. Unfortunately, there are plenty of drop-outs and teenage pregnancies here in turn with Camden. The kids at the Honduran camps are so energetic and just as cute as the Camden kids. I personally feel as though these kids are more respectful and are more considerate of listening to the leaders.
While in Honduras for three weeks, I hope to gain a few skills. Spanish is the national language of Honduras, so I’m hoping to at least have a better vocabulary when I return to the states. In addition, since this is my first time out of the U.S.A., I hope to get more experience traveling. College is right around the corner for me, so going to Honduras for the summer is something that will probably give me experience with being far away from home. So far, my trip has not only been fun, it has been a learning experience. This is perhaps the best decision I’ve made in 2014. Can’t wait to share my experience when I return home.