Manna Project International
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Andrew Hoy

Andrew Hoy

Major: Political Science
Hometown: Stone Harbor, New Jersey

How did you learn about this opportunity?

One of my friends is a program director with the organization. She has been living in Nicaragua and volunteering with Manna Project International for a year.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

While in Nicaragua, I lived in a house with sixteen other Americans, five of them were interns like me and ten were volunteers staying there for the year. During the week, I helped out in various programs that Manna Project International operates in Nicaragua. There were English classes, which were held twice a week and I got the chance to plan and teach a couple classes. There was a child sponsorship program in which we provided food, milk, and vitamins to malnourished children. I also helped with gym classes in the local public school. The last program I was involved in was called Camp Jam. In this program, we organized arts and crafts activities and games to provide local children with an opportunity to get away from issues they might be facing at home. During the weekends, I traveled all over the country. I went to the mountains in the northern area of the country, beaches in the southern, and a city in central.

"This experience confirmed my interest in living and volunteering in a different country after graduation."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience inspired me to advance my Spanish language abilities. Spanish was something that I’ve always taken since elementary school, but I never enjoyed it or really applied myself to it. I now wish I had taken my Spanish studies more seriously, and I’m motivated to become conversational by the time I graduate. This experience also motivated me to learn more about international communities. As a political science major, I learn a lot about governments in different countries and why they work or don’t. I learn about how the people play a factor in whether these governments are successful or not. What I do not learn about is the people themselves, and what the cultures are like. I met some of the best people in Nicaragua, and I’d like to learn more about people around the world.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After my undergraduate studies are finished, my plan is to go to law school. Before I went to Nicaragua, I was thinking about volunteering with the Peace Corps before law school. This experience confirmed my interest in living and volunteering in a different country after graduation. Learning a new language, living in a different part of the world, and meeting the people there are goals I hope to accomplish moving forward.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would. It was an experience that I'll never forget. I'll never forget the people I met, the places I went, or the things I saw. I worked with extraordinary people and I learned how rewarding it is to give to people less fortunate than me.

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