USNA Midshipmen Give Back During Spring Break
POSTED ON: Friday, March 24, 2023 10:04 AM by firstname.lastname@example.org
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Twelve midshipmen, one officer representative, and one enlisted representative from the U.S. Naval Academy’s Midshipman Action Group (MAG) traveled to Washington state to spend their spring break volunteering with Snohomish County Boys & Girls Clubs March 13-17.
Six of the twelve midshipmen spent their week with the Everett Boys & Girls Club. The group, led by MAG Chief of Staff Midshipman 1st Class (senior) Abigail Ball, volunteered with youth of all ages and backgrounds. Through team-building exercises, sports activities, and STEM tutoring and mentoring, the midshipmen experienced and interacted with the diverse cultures in the community.
“The opportunity to go to Everett and volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club was truly humbling,” said Ball. “For midshipmen, this was a learning opportunity. I believe you can learn from someone of any age and working with the children and teens at the Boys & Girls Club taught me a lesson in greater compassion and gratitude that I will keep with me through my military career and beyond.”
The other six midshipmen volunteered with the Lummi Nation Boys & Girls Club in Bellingham. In preparation for the trip, midshipmen participated in cultural awareness training to gain insight on the unique customs and traditions of the community they were visiting. During their visit, midshipmen immersed themselves in games and activities with the children, including basketball, tag, four square, and educational activities like the STEM-in-a-box kits provided by the Naval Academy’s STEM Outreach program.
“After a week with the Lummi Nation Boys & Girls Club, I realized how much we have in common,” said MAG Public Affairs Officer Midshipman 2nd Class (junior) Max Bueno. “I will never forget the amazing mountain views, the competitive spirit of the children of the Lummi Nation, the stories from elder tribal members, and the team bonding. I hope that each person can take this project and apply it to their lives to help more people and explore more cultures.”
MAG’s relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County, Washington, began in 2017 when midshipmen made their first visit to volunteer with the clubs. Since 2017, midshipmen volunteers have visited and interacted with the clubs several times, including virtually during the pandemic.
“Our clubs are a safe-haven, and many of these kids spend as much time with us as at their own homes,” said Snohomish County Boys & Girls Clubs Director of Strategic Initiatives Ken Salem. “[Midshipmen] gave them a week filled with truly unforgettable experiences, happiness, and friendship.”
The Naval Academy Community Relations Director, Miriam Stanicic explained that MAG carefully plans alternative spring break trips each year with community partners in communities around the country.
“The Midshipman Action Group is dedicated to meaningful alternative spring break trips which impact our communities in a very positive way,” said Stanicic. “This year's trips to the Everett Boys & Girls Club and the Lummi Nation Boys & Girls Club confirms MAG's unwavering focus on service.”
Established in 1992 as a community relations program for and by the Brigade of Midshipmen, MAG currently offers a variety of educational, environmental and social service volunteer projects in coordination with community partners from the Annapolis, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. areas, as well as regional and national partners. MAG members participate in numerous local volunteer and community service programs throughout the academic year. MAG prepares midshipmen for future service by encouraging peer leadership, teamwork, character development, morale, selflessness and goodwill towards others.
Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 26 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.
Category: Midshipman, General Interest