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Viewpoint's Varsity Boys Lacrosse Team Embarks on a Life-Changing Volunteer Trip to Medellín, Colombia
Viewpoint's Varsity Boys Lacrosse Team Embarks on a Life-Changing Volunteer Trip to Medellín, Colombia

What began as a simple idea during a morning lacrosse practice turned into an unforgettable journey for Coach Brendan Smith and nine of our Viewpoint student athletes. Organized by Coach Smith and the students themselves, the trip took place over Spring Break, where the group taught lacrosse and built relationships with local communities in Medellín, Colombia. 

"I looked into programs where we could travel to teach lacrosse and discovered Lacrosse the Nations. It's a nonprofit organization that uses lacrosse to motivate kids to stay in school and off the streets, providing scholarships for families and schools,” shared Smith. “It seemed like the perfect fit for what we wanted to do.”

This journey brought the team to the Colegio Lola Gonzalez School and the Amiga Community Center in Medellín, Colombia, where they volunteered their time, engaging with elementary and middle school students. 

"The experience was incredibly impactful for both our team and the locals we spent time with. It went beyond teaching lacrosse; it allowed us to connect with the kids on a deeper level and witness firsthand the positive influence sports can have on their lives," said Smith.

"The living conditions and lack of opportunities in the community we visited were truly eye-opening. Many families don't have basic necessities like electricity and running water," shared Micha Van Pelt ’24. "Experiencing this gave us an important perspective on what the trip was going to be about and who we were helping."

When they weren’t volunteering, the group explored Medellín, went on hikes, took a boat ride, and indulged in the local cuisine. Encouraged by the success of this trip, Coach Smith is already planning future excursions, with hopes of annualizing this experience.

"The more you see the world, the more you open yourself up to other cultures and experiences, which ultimately makes you a better person. Even though I don't speak a word of their language, I felt completely at home. Experiencing this has not only made our students better lacrosse players but also better individuals. That's why I want to continue providing these opportunities for everyone," Coach Smith explained.

“This is a trip I’ll never forget, and I believe it's the same for the kids we shared memories and laughs with,” said Van Pelt ’24. “Having the chance to do this again, even as an alum, would be incredible, and I truly hope it becomes a tradition.”

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