Life changing. Amazing. Humbling.
Just a few of the words offered by members of the Defiance College Men’s Basketball team to describe their recent service learning trip to Jamaica. The group spent a week in Highgate, St. Mary, the poorest parish on the island nation. Working with Christian Service International (CSI), the teammates spent the week at St. Mary Technical High School where they painted the interior and exterior of a wing of the school and conducted physical education classes with students.
While painting comprised the majority of the physical portion of the project, the DC student-athletes spent as much of their time as possible getting to know the Jamaican teen-agers at the school. Within hours of their arrival, the American college students and Jamaican teens were sharing conversations, answering questions, and breaking down cultural barriers. During physical education classes, members of the Defiance group taught basketball to the teens, and in turn learned how to play cricket. They also competed in several soccer matches.
Other projects conducted by DC staff during the week included a painting project at Bellfield School and presentations at Marymount High School.
Team members making the trip were: seniors Justin Morris, Kevin Tietje, Kyle Tietje, Anthony Brown and Brandon Hoke; juniors Logan Wolfrum and Dave Wooldridge; and sophomores Brandon Ray, Ryan Hicks and Josh Francis. They were led by head coach Kyle Brumett and assistant coaches Pat Sullivan and Nate Conley.
Also making the trip were DC president Mark Gordon and his son, Chris; Craig Rutter, assistant athletic director for student athlete engagement; Kevin Tong, head athletic trainer; Kathleen Westfall, assistant athletic trainer; Dr. Bill Finerty, team physician; Nick Sales, DC alum and former team member; and Kathy Punches, director of public relations and marketing.
May 27, 2011