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Cameron's Africa Journey: The Ocean & Inspiration

Now that I’ve started my classes, my schedule has become much more routine. It’s given me focus - I now know what I need to do and when I need to do it and have goals for each day. Aside from my academic schedule, I have ventured onto the International Student Basketball team. Back home, I hadn't had the best of luck in basketball, but here in Ghana I have been able to play on the team and get some coaching from a National Ghana league player. Being on the team has given me a way to get some exercise and to maintain the healthy lifestyle I began prior to leaving the states.

Recently, I took a student-organized trip to Kokobite, a town about an hour west of Accra, where twelve of us spent a weekend on the beach. As you might imagine, living in Colorado, I don’t get to take weekend trips to the beach. Actually, I’d never even been on a beach! Seeing the ocean up close and personal was amazing. I just sat there in the warm sand and thought about the how incredible God is for making something so beautiful, so grand, and so mysterious. It’s ironic that I had to travel halfway around the world to finally experience the beauty of the ocean.

Throughout my beach excursion, I was surrounded by twelve other interesting and unique students. I was able to get to know them on a more personal level - to see where they've come from and learn about where they’re headed in life. It’s inspiring to know that there are young people out there who not only want to make a difference, but who are actively doing the work to make the world a better place. The moments we shared on our two-day outing to Big Milly’s Backyard in Kokobite truly created lasting memories and friendships.

Outside of my schoolwork and newfound social life, I have been volunteering at the Canadian International School. I thought I’d be running a teen leadership program, but after considering the schools specific needs, I realized they had a greater need in early childhood education. So, I started to work with preschool children. I honestly never saw myself in this role, but the preschool students give me so much joy.

Each day I work with them on their letters and numbers, I help with lunchtime and nap-time. Sometimes the simplest thing, a smile or a word of encouragement, can make the biggest difference for these kids. Watching them explore, discover, and master new ideas has really rejuvenated my passion for creating opportunity for underrepresented youth in all communities.

Check out some photos of my journey, here:

Miss you all so much!

Until Next Time,

Cameron Simmons

Colorado State Youth of the Year, 2012
University of Denver Black Student Alliance President, 2013-2014
Daniels Fund Scholar
Cherrington Global Scholar