In July of 2023, 27 Midview High School students and one Midview Middle School student will travel abroad to Panama to participate in a service-based learning program. During the 10-day immersive experience, students will help improve health, education, and economic outcomes in under-resourced communities.
Midview will travel under the guidance of Global Brigades, a renowned international non-profit known for its work in resolving health and economic disparities. Global Brigades’ program, Squads Abroad, empowers teachers and students to make a global impact through skill-based experiential learning programs focused on health, business, STEM, or education.
Coordinated by Midview High School biomedical sciences teacher Jessica Dembiec, the Midview team will volunteer as part of the Global Health Squad.
“While Midview students have had the opportunity to experience several tourism-based trips over the years, this will be their first volunteer experience,” said Dembiec. “Students will have the opportunity to experience Panamanian culture while working alongside volunteer doctors, dentists, and in-country medical professionals. Our mission is to be active participants in our travel — to make an impact and be impacted!”
Facilitated by Squad Abroad’s local teams, Midview students will conduct mobile medical clinics that offer health, vision, and dental screenings; improve sanitation infrastructures such as hand washing stations, eco-stoves, and restrooms; and address systemic issues behind preventable diseases through health and hygiene workshops. During the afternoons and weekends, students will also have the opportunity to learn about Panamanian culture through activities and field trips. The experience was offered to students enrolled in related courses due to its strong cultural and medical focus.
“Real-world application is an important component of our vision for the Midview curriculum,” said Superintendent Dr. Bruce Willingham. “This is an incredible opportunity that empowers our students to not only apply what they’ve been learning in the classroom but to also gain insight into future careers, experience a different culture, and make a difference in the lives of others.”
The Midview Health Squad has begun fundraising to help cover logistical expenses such as transportation, meals, insurance, and accommodations. Donations will be accepted now through April and can be made to benefit individual students or the group as a whole. Those interested in supporting the trip can donate HERE.
The trip was approved by the Midview Local Schools Board of Education but is at no cost to the district.