This past month the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Student Partners braved the cold and helped to raise awareness about the Wisconsin and Nicaragua Partnership by joining in the Holiday Parade. The Student Partners and W/NP volunteers put together a colorful and festive float for the annual parade through downtown Stevens Point. Participating in community events such as the parade, help others to know what organizations exist and that there are many volunteer opportunities available in the area.
The highlight of the float this year was Evelyn , from Jinotega Nicaragua, as she bravely sported the traditional Nicaraguan dance dress (with many layers underneath!) It was a unique experience for Evelyn, coming from a warm climate, and learning what “frozen fingers” are like. She was a trooper and we appreciated Evelyn's willingness to hold out, despite the cold weather.
Later in the week, Evelyn met with Mr. Mike Devine, Principal at the Stevens Point Area Senior High School. They compared the differences of their public schools as well as the similarities students have no matter their location in the world. During Evelyn’s time in the classroom with students, she shared about the importance of not only learning about other countries, but incorporating some type of international experience into their education. Evelyn used herself as an example; being an active member of her own community in Nicaragua, she had the desire to expand her knowledge about community engagement, emergency preparedness, and volunteer programing. She discovered, applied and was accepted to the Partners of the Americas Professional Fellows program, thus how she was able to be there with the students sharing this time along with many other experiences in both Washington DC and in Wisconsin.
Traveling to another country and sharing time with people is a valuable and unique experience, one we hope more students who are able to interact with visitors from Nicaragua will take advantage of.
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