Robbie's Mission Trip to Beaufort, South Carolina
Organized by: Robbie Ward
October 10, 2016
EVENT DATE Jul 26, 2016
I will relocate to Beaufort, South Carolina on July 26 to begin my career teaching high school English at Island Academy, an alternative school intended to help students who have started to fall through society's cracks.
Island Academy students face situations out of their control – poverty, lack of strong role models, lack of direction and many other untold challenges. When I visited the school to interview, I learned of a student whose siblings are all incarcerated, while another student was homeless.
Each student has his or her own story that led to voluntary enrollment in the alternative school in the Low Country of South Carolina. I consider it my mission to help them find redemption in their future.
Students from these backgrounds have the odds stacked against them; however, caring, committed teachers can work with these young people to help give them a fighting chance to work toward a healthy, functional life and a bright future.
Many students from challenged backgrounds have beat the odds and found success in life, rejecting cynicism and a culture of low to no expectations. I will do my best to help each of my students transcend their environment.
How can you help me begin this mission?
Working at a restaurant since September has afforded me little income to save for this move. I anticipated accepting a job in Greenville County, where I currently reside. Your generous contribution will help cover related travel and relocation expenses and other costs related to making the transition to a teaching career.
Why invest in this cause?
Your assistance will also help provide me with food and other daily necessities as I complete a two-week long Pre-Service Institute required of non-traditional teachers in South Carolina. This training from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday (July 11 - July 22) will prevent me from working at the restaurant where I'm currently employed. After paying moving costs including U-Haul trailer, I will use remaining funds to buy a pair of shoes to wear to school and other supplies to help prepare for the first day of school.
What will you get in return?
I cannot quantify the value of this investment for you. However, I will continue to write about my experience as a first-year teacher on my Huffington Post blog and LinkedIn. Your investment makes you a part of the team. I will keep you informed and share in the ups and downs of my experience. However, you will also receive this for your investment: I promise not to give up.
In early 2015, I resigned from a newspaper job in Greenville, South Carolina in hopes of finding more meaningful work. I decided shortly after leaving this position to fulfill a promise to my mother before she died in July 2010: I promised to take her Ireland and run the Dublin Marathon.
Since I started training in late April 2015 for the marathon, I have lost more than 30 pounds and finished the race on October 26, 2015. After running the race, I decided to make a difference by teaching high school in a high-need environment. My classroom subject will be English; however, I will do my best to teach my students about integrity, honesty, respect, open-mindedness, a desire to learn, compassion and the importance of giving back. I will also teach them about second chances and redemption.
This is my mission. It will take me from the Upstate of South Carolina to the Low Country. Help me get there.