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When Leah Beidler graduated from the School of Education in 2005, she wasn’t sure what path she would choose. A collegiate soccer career, a passion for working with children and an affinity for travel helped shape her college experience; she had an interest in working overseas but wasn’t sure how everything would fit together.

Flash forward to 2008, and call it divine intervention. After spending a year teaching English to the adopted children of a missionary couple in Haiti, Leah returned in July 2008 to start a summer camp there. Camp Hope serves 30 to 40 children each week and provides a semblance of childhood in an area where survival ranks well ahead of play. Leah and her team of four volunteers teach English, arts and crafts and play soccer each day. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the camp provides a meal to students, something that many campers go without when times are tough.

“For children in Haiti, there is no play time; they think, ‘How am I going to eat today? How can I help my mom? Where will I find water?’” Leah says. “Sharing the act of play is the most amazing experience you can have with these kids.”


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