Learning From the Best Teacher


At the Camp Power To Be Literacy and Leadership Camp in Negril, Jamaica I made a friend who reminded me of a younger me. I did not spend much time with him because I did not want to show preference above all the other campers. However, every time I had the opportunity to talk to him, I shared as much advice as I could and asked as many questions as the time let me. I felt he is the kind of person that this world needs – he is part of the next generation.

One day he was unusually quiet. I just walked next to him without asking because I did not want to invade his privacy. He told me that his grandfather passed away a week ago and this was the reason why he was sad. I hugged him and told him that his grandfather is in a better place. I did not know what else to do. Then, he left running towards the rest of his friends: the Gorillas, as they named themselves. A lot of questions remained: Is he ok? How is he doing? Should I do something else?

A wonderful kid taught me how to grieve. I was supposed to teach him, but I was the learner. Jamaica has been a reminder that we must be humble and learn from kids and not believe that they only have to learn from ‘grown-ups’. There is also another message: Canada and its’ students can learn a lot from Jamaica. We must know that the world has a lot to share and they are willing to do so. Let’s open our senses and be humble always!

Written by: Javier Garate Alfaro, The Business School

Jamaica — July 2015

What an exciting week working collaboratively with The Power to be International organization in the planning and delivery of the Community Literacy, Leadership and Engagement Camp for children in Negril, Jamaica.  It was a very unique and rewarding opportunity to volunteer in an international setting that also allowed us to gain a better understanding of global issues and our roles as global citizens.

Welcome to Jamaica - July 11-18, 2015 IMG_0690 IMG_0814

I could not have asked to share this experience with a better group of Centennial students and colleagues, everyone worked collaboratively and were fully engaged in learning, planning, coaching, singing, laughing and so much more.  Jamaica is a beautiful country, filled with warm and caring people.  It was a privilege being in the classroom with so many children and meeting the caring staff and volunteers who make this annual camp experience possible!

Everyone can make a difference, please visit http://www.thepowertobe.org/ to learn how!

Vida Barker, Faculty Project Advisor