Dr. Thurman Shares Dominican Republic Experience

Posted on 02/03/2016

Dr: Thurman:

What a trip! From January 18th to January 26th, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Constanza, Dominican Republic, as part of the 2016 Lifetouch Memory Mission Team. A special thanks to our school board for allowing me to attend and to the Lifetouch Arkansas team for their support in making this opportunity of a lifetime a reality.

The area in which we worked was absolutely breathtaking. With all of the scenic beauty around me, it was overwhelming to also observe many of the conditions in which most people lived. The economic conditions and shortage of well-paying jobs in the area are a major problem. Education is not a priority. Teen pregnancy and malnutrition are predominate. The people welcome mission trips because they know that we are offering hope. Specifically, our group offered a chance to build a school in a community that really needed a rainbow to appear. The trip offered the opportunity to not only build a school, but to build powerful relationships.  

I left Cabot on Monday, January 18th, heading to Atlanta. I will be the first to admit that this trip was really out of my comfort zone! We gathered in Atlanta on Monday night to meet each other for the first time. It was obvious from our first meeting that Lifetouch had put together quite a team for the 2016 Memory Mission. We started bonding immediately and the mix of personalities went well together. The majority of team members worked for Lifetouch Photography. The educators participating in the trip were selected by Lifetouch and represented various organizations. I was one of five representatives of AASA (American Association of School Administrators). We had other team members from the National PTA, National School Boards Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.  

  

While in Constanza and working to build a school in the community of Rio Grande, we grew closer as a group each day while at the same time, we became a team with those in the community. We did a lot of work. I've never cut so much rebar, carried so many concrete blocks, sifted so much sand, hauled so many buckets of mortar, or used a pickaxe to chip away at so many rocks!  It was all worth it. We never referred to the fact that we were building a school. We were building hope.  

I met with a group of students on Monday that had followed my journey to the Dominican Republic. One of the students asked me what I brought back from this experience...

-Love and compassion is powerful and can be felt regardless of the language that is spoken. 

-Kids are awesome, want attention and love, and deserve every opportunity they can be given in Rio Grande.  

-Kids are awesome, want attention and love, and deserve every opportunity they can be given in Cabot, Arkansas.  

-It was an awesome experience to travel 1700 miles to make a difference.  

-I don't have to travel 1700 miles from home to make a difference.  

Finally...

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

 




Dr. Thurman's Video Broadcast From The Dominican Republic

Check this out! Here is the video of Dr. Thurman in the Dominican Republic. His Google Hangout had to be canceled due to...

Posted by Cabot Public School District on Monday, February 1, 2016



Construction Update From Dr. Thurman

Saturday update from Dr. Thurman in the Dominican Republic. Click on the video to hear from him and see a tour of the school they're building!Dr. Thurman:Much progress today on the new school being constructed for the children of the Rio Grande community!The community is just starting to understand the enormity of what is happening and they are so appreciative and kind. I've never carried more buckets of cement, cut so much rebar, or hauled cinder blocks in my life, but it is worth it to see the excitement building just as fast as the school. #memorymission2016

Posted by Cabot Public School District on Saturday, January 23, 2016



New Pictures: Dr. Thurman Mission Trip

New Pictures: Dr. Thurman Mission Trip 2

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