Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Start of Something Good...

Hello everyone,

I will start off my introducing myself to all of you!  My name is Rebecca and I am a third-year Kinesiology student at McMaster.  As staff of McMaster Athletics & Recreation, I have the privilege of being apart of McMaster Athletes Care, an initiative created to engage our Athletics & Recreation community in meaningful volunteer experiences, with a strong focus on local community development and the power of sport and education.

Five months after the official start of our program, six student-athletes have come together as part of the MacServe Reading Week Series to participate in a Hamilton-McMaster Athletes Care Reading Week service-learning experience that focuses on youth poverty in our city.  A few months ago, while working on McMaster Athletes Care, I stumbled across a few very alarming statistics.

One involves the life expectancy in Hamilton – with a staggering 20 years difference between the highest and lowest income areas.  Further, the top of the spectrum is expected to live 5 years longer than the national average, while the bottom end of the spectrum has a life expectancy lower than that of India (Code Red Report – Hamilton Spectator).

The second involves our city, with a child poverty rate that is higher than the Ontario average, and greater than the adult poverty rates for our city.

As role models in the community, we have the opportunity to actively participate in encouraging positive healthy active lifestyles and mentoring these youth to partake in a lifestyle that will actively bridge the expectancy gap.  Experiences like this are a very unique way to focus on being participating members of the global community as we act to make a difference in our local community.

So after months of planning for this experience, the adventure finally begins!
Move-In Day was filled with excitement as we came together and began with a reflection on the importance of volunteering locally and the experiences we would encounter together, as a team, this week.

After our first family dinner, our Team Leaders, Leah & Payge, sent us all on a scavenger hunt through West Hamilton that led us to a fun night of bowling.

Here we are now, and I am ready for sleep.  That said, I might have some trouble falling asleep as I anticipate the start of tomorrow morning’s activity – do something good with $5.

Goodnight & thank you for following – talk to you tomorrow!


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