AUC student donates award grant to IDEAL Preschool

Travis Lambert

CUPECOY–American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine third semester student Travis Lambert has been named Dr. Karl Stockhausen Student of the Semester. The Louisiana native received the award earlier this month after the school’s Student Judiciary Committee reviewed and voted on submissions. To be considered, candidates must hold a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 75 per cent or higher, have a proven record of community service, and embody the traits of the late AUC graduate Dr. Karl Stockhausen.

“It’s an honour to have been chosen as the recipient of this award,” said Lambert. “Throughout my life, my most fulfilling accomplishments have been serving the communities that I have been a part of. Being considered a worthy candidate is something that makes me truly proud.”

As part of his award, Lambert will receive a US $5,000 grant to spend on a community initiative of his choice. He has decided to use the funds to support educational programmes and activities at IDEAL Preschool in Mary’s Fancy.

AUC students volunteering at IDEAL Preschool some time back.

Lambert has been involved with IDEAL Preschool since the beginning of his medical education at AUC. He strongly believes that all children deserve and need educational opportunities – especially at a young age.

As preschool-age children are not required to go to school in St Maarten, organisations such as IDEAL Preschool offer a pivotal space for them to learn, develop critical thinking skills and explore their creativity, AUC said. Their early stimulation and educational day-care programmes are particularly beneficial for children ages 0-4 years.

Lambert’s involvement with IDEAL Preschool intensified after Hurricane Irma. On learning that the school had suffered significant damage, he helped to raise funds for various repairs and organised clean-up events on AUC’s return in January. During AUC’s Community Action Day in February, Lambert and several other medical students helped to restore the school’s back yard and built a new sensory space and garden.

Now, with the money from his award grant, Lambert hopes to expand IDEAL Preschool’s outdoor space and increase its capacity. Part of that plan includes purchasing outdoor rubber mats to cover the concrete floors where children currently play and create a safer learning environment for both teachers and pupils. He is also working on a way to share IDEAL’s curriculum and best practices with other local programmes.

“Travis’ dedication to this project and this part of the community is very evident,” AUC Student Judiciary Committee Public Relations Chair Preety Mahal said. “We believe he will be an excellent representation of the characteristics of Dr. Karl Stockhausen.”

While Lambert says there is no comparing himself to Dr. Stockhausen, his desire to help others and his dream to serve indigenous communities abroad are clear similarities, AUC said.

AUC students at IDEAL Preschool.


Source: The Daily Herald