Diving in and Giving Back
Wishmakers, one of RUSVM’s newest clubs strives to give back to St. Kitts by direct service and cultural immersion.
Ann Marie Picone and Kawi Gonzalez-Rodriguez, both 6th semester students saw an opportunity to engage directly with the Kittitian community and provide a way to give back to those in need. Now, both co-chairs for the club, they’ve brought on board over 30 students.
One of their larger projects has been volunteering with the youth group at Challenger’s Youth for Christ, located about a mile to the west of RUSVM. The youth group serves toddlers to teenagers and offers a safe place to socialize on Friday nights. Wishmakers members visit the group twice a month and engage in various activities from helping with homework to assisting with their annual Christmas pageant. Last semester, they organized a relay race competition with the children and more activities are in the works for the future.
One of the club’s aims has been to narrow the gap between RUSVM students and the wider community. “I think it’s really important to remember that even though we are here as visitors, we have an impact on everybody’s lives, and it’s important to give people a chance to get to know us,” said Kawi Gonzalez-Rodriguez. They say their visits with the children have served as an opportunity for cultural exchange and mutual learning.
As their name implies, one of the club’s goals is to grant “wishes” to those in need, and they have been raising money for that purpose. If you are interested in getting involved in the club, contact KarlaGonzalezRodriguez@students.rossu.edu or AnnMariePicone@students.rossu.edu.