Kyle’s Journey in Armenia

Just Another Peace Corps Blog

Push America and Me

I have had a very rich and rewarding experience with Push America, which is why I want to continue to support them through the “Push to the Finish” challenge. Push America offers many programs to undergraduate members of Pi Kappa Phi, and I took advantage of many of them in my time at Truman State University. Here are some of the projects I was involved with:

Build America - Field of Hope

Build America
In the summer of 2004, I joined 19 other men of Pi Kappa Phi to work at six camps for people with disabilities around the country. We visited 17 states, and worked at camps in Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Texas, Alabama and South Carolina. During the program we did various construction projects during the day, including a new archery range, camping platforms, and building renovation. In the evenings and at mealtimes, we participated in activities with the campers, which was easily the best part of the trip. The experience was extremely rewarding for me, as I met some of my best friends and directly interacted with those I was helping. Each team member raised a minimum of $3,500 for the program, which went to material purchases and a $5,000 grant for each camp we supported. I was the top fundraiser on the team, raising over $4,000 with the support of my friends and family.

Build America construction

Push Camps
For two spring breaks, in 2003 and 2004, I worked at two camps for people with disabilities — one in Clemson, South Carolina and at Camp ASSCA in Jackson’s Gap, Alabama. Not only have these opportunities given me a chance to see parts of the country I would not have otherwise, they have given me an incredible chance to serve these camps by providing handicapped accessible amenities and raise thousands of dollars and saving thousands of dollars in labor costs. These experiences were my primary motivation for doing Build America.

AccessAbility May 2004 final ramp

AccessAbility
Every semester at Truman State, my Fraternity brothers and I organized an AccessAbility project. We partnered with a local organization, RAIL, to find needy families in North-Eastern Missouri which needed accessible access to their homes but could not afford it. We joined the staff of rail one day each semester to construct a ramp at these locations. It was one of the greatest experiences I had as an undergraduate as we got to see first hand how our hard work and dedication made an impact on the people and communities around us.

Undergraduate Experience at Truman
I was involved with many other fundraising and volunteering activities to raise money and awareness for Push America. I served as the chapter philanthropy chair, and helped organize several events, including campus disability awareness activities and an empathy dinner with a local church.

The views expressed herein are the views of the author and do not express those of Peace Corps Armenia or the United States government.