Monterey Bay Academy Serves The Community
Monterey Bay Academy students and faculty took a day to practice what they preach on Tuesday, venturing out into local communities for the school’s annual Community Service Day. Groups from the school performed a variety of tasks including everything from painting a pier to visiting patients of a nursing home to pulling weeds at local churches and schools.
“We worked really hard,” Raymond Hong, a sophomore from San Francisco said. “It was fun though because the people we met were really appreciative of our efforts.” The 215 students from MBA reached a variety of people, performing community service from Seaside to Santa Cruz. Some jobs required as many as 40 students while most jobs required just a few. The work ethic of MBA students though did not go unnoticed by the different job supervisors from the community.
“I think this is a great learning experience for these kids,” Jon Bombaci, a Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf construction crew supervisor said. “I hope that they take away some level of pride and accomplishment in what they’ve learned from this experience. This kind of activity is so valuable because it gives students a sense of ownership of their community and that’s important. I just want to thank the students for taking the time to serve their community.”
Not every job involved cleaning up a park or painting over graffiti, several students had the chance to work with people one on one. “My job was working at the Santa Cruz Healthcare Center,” Greg Peterson, a junior from Bishop, California said. “We cleaned up the grounds and then we had a chance to sing for the residents and visit with them after. It was really cool because they were so happy to have visitors and they had some great stories to tell.”
Ragini Kaligithi, a junior from La Selva Beach, worked with a group at the Santa Cruz YWCA’s shelter for unwed mothers. Her group washed windows, pulled weeds around the building and prepared bags of donated diapers for the women aided by the shelter. The jobs her group performed were basic, but the impact on Ragini was significant.
“I loved working at the shelter,” Kaligithi said. “I’ve always wanted to work somewhere like that. The volunteers there were so friendly and I just think that’s the kind of work that I want to do with my life, because that’s the kind of work that fulfills you.”
Giving MBA students a chance to see the benefits of service is what Community Service Day is all about, according to campus pastor and event coordinator Bryan del Valle.
“The Christian lifestyle is all about service,” del Valle said. “Community Service Day is important because it makes our students aware of the needs that are out there and teaches them to be compassionate and think of others. When we serve others we’re serving Christ, and that’s what it’s all about.”