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www.carroll.edu The Prospector Student spent year volunteering in Costa Rica By Molly Priddy Staff Writer We have plenty of fascinating people on our campus these days. I would like to introduce you to one such person. Jacquie Schmidt is a well-spoken, first year biology major. What's so great about that? Well, for starters, she spent last year in Costa Rica doing community serv ice. We are not strangers to community service here at Carroll, whether it is voluntary or court mandated. Jacquie, however, broke the mold and took a year off after she graduated high school in Olympia, Washington, to volunteer. She worked with the American Field Service (AFS), which handles a lot of high school exchange students. Jacquie was placed in Ciudad Nielly, a small town in southern Costa Rica located about 15 minutes from the border. \It's really funny traveling in a place like Costa Rica, because the roads are covered in potholes and a normal three-hour trip takes nine hours!\ she commented. Her area of service was in the school in the center of this town. Jacquie worked with the kindergartners, teaching them new social con cepts like gender equality through games. \One day we might play with little cars, and we'd say 'See? Girls can drive cars too!' or 'Girls can play soccer too.' The culture is still very cen tered on the machismo male idea.\ Jacquie also helped the children understand their ecosystem. The garbage system in this small town consisted of either dropping it on the ground or in the river. \They figured that if the dirt covered it up or the river took it away, it was just gone,\ she said. She is still close with her host family. \They are amazing people,\ she remarked. She took several trips with them during her last month in the country. They went to Nicaragua and Panama. Although the people she worked with lived hard lives, Jacquie believes there is something to be learned from them. \I think they are doing something right because they are all happy,\ she said. \The impact I made on the people there was very slight in comparison to the impact they made on me.\ Jacquie also thinks that anyone could do this type of volunteer work and should if they ever get the chance. She thinks that she was just lucky to be inspired by her father, who lives out of the country 11 months out of the year on business. \He really inspired me to do this. He's my idol,\ she said. If all of that is not enough, Jacquie is worth getting to know for her ability to make any one's day better. \I like making smiles,\ she said through one of her own. Photo by Laurel Citala Jacquie Schmidt, a freshman biology major from Olympia, Wash., spent last year in Costa Rica volun teering through the American Field Service. mm V I j g j M l B Ü 1 3 fffrsHV VOLUME 89, NO. 3 Friday* December 2, 2005