GSE Promotes Service Opportunities

Jessi Gunn, Staff Writer

Volunteers organized by Global Student Embassy will be in Nicaragua during Spring break, helping with environmental causes and sustainable programs intended to promote improved quality of life for the country’s impoverished youth.

Global Student Embassy (GSE) works to connect kids from Northern California, Nicaragua, and Ecuador through projects aimed at protecting the environment, raising awareness about world hunger, and promoting “grassroots international relations,” according to the organization’s public relations video. Mallory Bressler, the Director of Programs at GSE, has been visiting Campo over the last few months to promote GSE’s annual service trip to Nicaragua.

According to Bressler, this trip allows students to volunteer with projects like “organic school gardens that feed the local communities and provide all the food for a free breakfast and lunch program called the Comedor project.” Bressler said, “There has been a lot of students who are initially interested in this trip. Almost 200.”

“This is the 1st year we are offering the program so I expect that next year it’s going to be extremely competitive,” said Bressler.

Overall this trip really helps kids “realize the impact of their time and their energy is going to make and it becomes a really powerful process,” said Bressler. The cost of the trip is $2100, but GSE provides a lot of fundraising ideas which students are encouraged to use to cover these fees. According to Bressler, students do everything from bake sales to letter writing campaigns to raise money for the trip.

Along with raising awareness for international service opportunities like the Nicaragua trip, Bressler also works with the science department and the Lorax Club on local projects. Bressler said, “In California we focus on community gardens, recycling, and composting.” She works with the environmental science classes at Campo on these kinds of projects.

Science teacher Patrick Wildermuth has his classes help out in the new garden with Bressler. Wildermuth said the garden was maintained previously in part by Eagle Scouts from multiple troops, but he wanted “to get environmental sciences out there to work on it on a bigger scale.”

Bressler also works with the Lorax Club on the new recycling initiative, “Cats Care.” President of the Lorax Club Nathaniel Miller said, “Just having the extra personnel and the extra involvement helps a lot.” According to Miller, the Lorax Club has received more exposure with the help of GSE. “People who want to go to Nicaragua with GSE have to fulfill a certain activity requirement regarding work in the environment and the Lorax club is a good organization to achieve those requirements,” said Miller.

Students who are interested in any of these programs can find out more information by contacting Mallory Bressler at [email protected] or attending an informational meeting about the Nicaragua trip being held at Lafayette Academy in Lafayette on November 15 at 7pm.