The Garrison Forest Elsie Foster Jenkins ’53 Endowment Fund for Community Service program supports a variety of Service League community outreach initiatives and has sent over 80 Jenkins Fellows to over 31 countries and communities, positively impacting hundreds of lives. From teaching students math in Uganda to creating a dance movement program for children living at the House of Ruth Maryland, our Jenkins Fellows exemplify the GFS Core Value, Be Compassionate.
Due to travel restrictions this year, students who were interested in studying as Jenkins Fellows had to re-evaluate their plans. Carly B. '21, who was originally planning to go to China to work at an orphanage, strategized alternatives with Community Service Coordinator Barbara Ackerman once it became clear traveling to China was not an option this year. Carly was presented with the opportunity to volunteer as a camp counselor at Virtual Camp Happy, led by the founder of the We Cancerve Movement, Inc., Grace Callwood. As a Camp Happy counselor, Carly produced fun tutorials for elementary school-aged homeless and foster children, teaching topics ranging from the American Sign Language alphabet to yoga and Mandarin Chinese.
I think it's very important to do local work because it's about connecting with your community and meeting people you may not have ever met if your paths didn't cross. Service work is just a great way of bringing people together. -- Jenkins Fellow Carly Baker '21
Together, with the help of other teenage counselors, Grace and Carly created a fun, safe online atmosphere during an uncertain time. Grace hopes to continue the virtual component of Camp Happy in the future to reach more kids, including those battling with cancer and other medical conditions.
Watch the conversation below with Carly and Grace to learn more about how they embraced compassion and resiliency to collaborate on this important project.