Volunteer Highlight: From Volunteer to International Volunteer Coordinator-Sarah’s Story

June 22nd, 2015

Sarah Burpee, Former Bridges to Community Volunteer Coordinator, Student at Brooklyn Law

“My Bridges experiences became a catalyst to my interests in Nicaraguan history and Latin American studies. As I learned about the history, I began to see the reasons behind the poverty and realize why things were the way they were.”

Sarah_BurpeeSarah Burpee first went on an interfaith trip to Nicaragua with Bridges to Community in 2004. Although she had previously been involved with service, nothing could have prepared the 15 year old for what she was about to encounter. It was Sarah’s first time out of the country and she was instantly struck by how different everything was. Despite the differences, she instantly formed a connection with the Nicaraguan people. It amazed her how quickly she could build relationships even though there was a language barrier.

One of Sarah’s fondest memories was talking to Antonio, one of the masons that was working with her in the community of Ticuantepe. Antonio told her about Nicaraguan history and how the revolution affected the country. This was the root of her interest in Latin America.

“My Bridges experiences became a catalyst to my interests in Nicaraguan history and Latin American studies. As I learned about the history, I began to see the reasons behind the poverty and realize why things were the way they were.”

Although Sarah went on to visit other countries, she always felt a deep connection with Nicaragua. She found the country to have warmth to it and its people to have good intentions. Also, Bridges to Community’s approach of developing lasting changes and getting the community involved resonated with her. For these reasons, Sarah began working as a volunteer coordinator with Bridges to Community in 2012. She continues to form a better understanding of the Nicaraguan way of life and how she can make a difference.

“My trips with Bridges to Community got me interested in becoming socially responsible and helped me realize how my actions affect people.”

Read more empowering volunteers stories or share your own!