Students volunteered at the Amuseum Naturalis by cleaning, planting, and beautifying the property.
CUPE COY–American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine students set aside their lab coats and study material to volunteer for several activities in St. Maarten for their annual Community Action Day on Saturday, February 23.
For Community Action Day the physicians-in-training go beyond their campus to engage with community partners through service projects focusing on health, education, animal welfare, environmental awareness, and more. The 217 participating AUC students, faculty, staff, and their family members donated approximately 665 hours of service in support of St. Maarten community priorities.
Throughout 21 volunteer sites, students cleaned up the premises of local schools and museums, supported animal adoption events, conducted free health screenings, assembled playgrounds, led educational activities for children, assisted with entertainment for elderly residents, and mapped out local resources to improve preparation for natural disasters, among other activities.
A group of students partnered with Tri-Sport to pick up 24 bags of litter from the shores along Guana Bay and Geneve Bay, totalling about 80 kilogrammes (176 pounds).
Students also volunteered at the Amuseum Naturalis by cleaning, planting, and beautifying the property, and partnered with St. Maarten AIDS Foundation providing free HIV testing for residents, amongst many other activities.
A group of students partnered with Tri-Sport to pick up 24 bags of litter from the shores along Guana Bay and Geneve Bay, totalling about 176 pounds.
“I was interested in participating with the foundation because they are a non-profit organisation which gives back to the community by focusing on a prevalent worldwide epidemic,” first semester student Anna Quinones said about volunteering with the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation. “I gained invaluable knowledge and clinical experience providing free HIV testing to people on the island.”
In addition to participating in the activities of Community Action Day itself, students are involved in organising the event. Community Action Day is held three times a year and is an AUC tradition that connects students with local organisations to give back to St. Maarten and contribute to various community initiatives.
Last year marked the 10th anniversary of Community Action Day, which first began when Emmanuel Ofori and Beatrice Kenol (Class of 2012) envisioned and worked to create a day of service that would foster positive change in the community.
“I’m grateful to have been able to help run Community Action Day as a member of the Student Volunteer Committee for the past three semesters,” said Gina.
“Though the dynamics, fluidity, and relative ease in terms of how the day is run change on a semester-by-semester basis, the impact of our work and passion for service demonstrated by our students and faculty never do,” fourth semester student Gina Nathwani said.