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Grade 12 Students Travel for Service Trip in the Dominican Republic 

The Timmy Club is the most popular extracurricular activity in high school at ISI. It hosts various events throughout the year, all of which raise money for Timmy Global Health. Timmy Global Health works to address health disparities globally in a sustainable way and partners with local organizations to help improve education and medicine. Students in the Timmy Club plan the Color Run, multiple spirit weeks, and Staff vs Student athletic competitions annually to fundraise for the organization. 

At the end of each school year, select upperclassmen who are proven leaders in the Timmy Club have the opportunity to do hands-on work for Timmy Global Health. This year, eight ISI seniors traveled to Batey Juliana in the Dominican Republic for an eight-day-long service trip. Students returned to the same school as last year and continued to make improvements to benefit the community. Last year, ISI students built a new cafeteria for the school and completed renovations such as painting, installing new doors and whiteboards, and improving the kitchen.

This year, students built a multi-use court for basketball, soccer, and volleyball. They leveled the ground, mixed and poured concrete, created drainage systems, and finished the edges to make it safe for children. They also helped construct a well, cleaned up the school’s exterior and landscaping, and cleaned up the school’s fruit garden, which was previously unusable. Timmy Club members also brought basketballs and soccer balls for the community to keep, donated by the Pacers, Fever, and Indy Eleven teams!

“Once we finished, all the kids from the community (around 40, I would estimate) aged 2-15 gathered, and we all played on the court for hours,” Channing Bernat said. “I speak for all of us when I say seeing the community come together was one of the most fulfilling experiences we’ve had. I am proud of what we accomplished and am so happy the kids have this area. We are all leaving the DR with a new perspective and are all grateful for what this experience has brought us.”

While on the trip, students also had opportunities for sightseeing and exciting cultural experiences. The group spent one afternoon taking a tour through Montecristi, resting at the beach, visiting farms in the area, visiting national parks, and taking bachata lessons. Outside of short excursions, students spent most of their time in the small community of Batey Juliana, working hard and connecting with community members. 

“Today at work we were joined by local children who were both very excited to work and pick up some English,” Kael Miller said. “As we worked, it became abundantly clear that the indomitable human spirit is really true; regardless of the language barrier or difference in situation, we all truly connected with the local children on a human level. Understanding that only by chance are we subject to our situations and that we have done nothing to deserve our privilege is an important realization we all have made throughout this trip.”
 

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