July 16th 2014
2014 marks the second year of UPI’s Ambassadors of Promise program, and we’ve been blessed to see it grow in exciting ways. Last year, we had two participants and one hosting site. This year, we have 4 students working at 3 different UrbanPromise locations around the world! What better way to share the experience than through the words of our students who are on the ground, tasting new foods, making new friends, and learning much about themselves along the way. Here are their stories:
So far my time in UrbanPromise Wilmington has been phenomenal. I remember the first day that I arrived we were welcomed with open arms, they were very friendly and eager to know about the UrbanPromise in Miami. I was tired that day but Wilmington made it a great day for me. I loved it because they made me eager to figure out how my first day in their camp will be like.
My first host family were very caring, they ask for my needs and they were very caring towards me. That host family made me feel welcomed in their home and until this day they worry about me and ask me how I’m doing. However my 2 host person was also caring for me, she tried as hard as possible to make me feel welcomed and I loved that. I liked the fact that she was scared that I wouldn’t like her but to be honest they will be in my heart forever because just how they care for me I care for them.
My first week wasn’t as hard as I expected, the kids welcomed me and so did the staff, I didn’t feel like I was someone that just joined them, they made me feel like I was already part of their family and like I’ve been there for a while.
Something that I like about UrbanPromise Wilmington is their way of doing things. I always expected UrbanPromise to be one type of way, but I’ve learned that everybody has their own unique way of doing things.
Once I go back to Miami I would like to try new ways of doing things, I don’t think that every camp should be the same way, I would like for my camp to be unique in their own way just how the camps in Wilmington were.
This was an amazing summer that I will never forget, I saw how much I care for kids and that I will love to keep doing this in my future. I grew relationships with kids and staff and they’re just another important part of my life that taught me better and that cared for me.
Hey everyone, my name is Jefry Padilla!!!!!
I was born in Honduras, Tegucigalpa but was raised in a town in Miami, FL called Little Havana. In Miami we have a non-profit organization that helps kids from first grade through high school stay out of trouble. We try to keep them from getting exposed to any negative habits like gangs, drugs, alcohol, and etc. Also by teaching them from what's good and bad at a young age we also implement the scripture of our heavenly father, Jesus Christ, because without him a program like this wouldn't be as unique as it is. Recently I've been blessed with an opportunity to travel and stay three weeks in a different state that has an UrbanPromise within it. When I first arrived, I immediately wanted to pack my luggage and go back home to work for the camp I’ve been blessed to be a part of for five years but I knew I was here for a reason, so I challenged myself and so far it's turned out to be just like home. The host family I'm staying with is amazing, they took me in like I'm one of their own and for that I am grateful towards them. Now it's like if I was part of their family all along. The new camp I was assigned to is called camp harmony (otherwise known as H SQUAD!!!!!!) The kids here are very talented and smart but as all kids, they can be a handful at times. I've been floating around all four groups but the group that I've built the most relationships with is the first group I was ever assigned to when I stepped foot inside harmony ground. They are known as the "The Rockin Roses". Just seeing them come to camp everyday fills me up with so much joy because every kid here has a very challenging life outside these walls. One thing I’ve learned so far from Wilmington is that if you put your faith in Christ you will be at peace. Another thing is camp-wise and cultural-wise, UrbanPromise Wilmington and UrbanPromise Miami are totally different but at the end of the day none of that matters because all the UrbanPromise sites around the world have the same goal; to change a child's life one day at a time.