Bridges to Community: An Amazing Experience that Improves the Lives of Others

John Jay has a wide variety of clubs students can join. Clubs such as Science Olympiad, Arts Alive, and Reach out John Jay appeal to the interests of many students. There is one club in particular that centers around community service and improving the lives of others; this club is Bridges to Community.

Bridges to Community is an organization that brings volunteers to less fortunate areas in the world, in order to assist the locals in building houses for families in need.

Our school’s chapter of Bridges to Community, takes an annual trip with the organization over spring break. This year 19 students and 3 advisors travelled to Derrumbadero in the Dominican Republic.

With the help of representatives from the Bridges to Community organization, the Bridges club was able to successfully build two houses in a week.

The group would wake up at seven in the morning to get a jump start on work. They sat in the back of pickup trucks and minivans when driving to the work site. At the worksite the group split into two groups in order to maximize their efforts. They worked for four hours in the blazing sun until it was time for lunch.

After lunch they went back to the mayor’s office, which was the building where they were staying. There they were met with many children from the community. Students were able to laugh, play, and dance with the kids. The kids would watch as the students climbed back into the minivans and pickup trucks to go back to the work sites, where they would shovel gravel and mix cement for two more hours.

When everyone got back to the mayor’s office, they would file into the showers. These showers were different from the ones in the US. They used buckets to hold their shower water, and scoops instead of shower heads.

At night the children would come back to play some more. They would listen to music, twirl around, and never wanted to leave.

Similar to the kids, none of the students wanted to leave. They boarded a bus that would take them to the airport, where they would return home.

When asked about their trip, all the members say is how amazing the experience was, and nothing can compare to it.