BIHS students mix travel with service
In 2009, many Berkeley International High School students had the opportunity to travel together and represent our program to the rest of the world for the first time!
In March, a group of BIHS sophomores travelled to Washington, D.C. with the Close-Up organization. The group held weekly meetings during the school year to discuss politics and fundraising in preparation for their trip. Accompanied by BIHS teachers Peter Rodrigues, Rebecca Isaacson and Matt Meyers, they landed in D.C. just prior to spring break, and spent six days discovering democracy in action. Mingling with students from other schools, they visited memorials, monuments, and even got to sit in on a session of Congress. They were able to witness the unanimous passage of a bill presented by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to honor the four Oakland police officers who were killed in the line of duty last March. The BIHS students especially enjoyed meeting high school students from other parts of the country and discussing politics with people who were not from Berkeley!
Then, just after the last final was taken in June, 41 juniors from BIHS had the opportunity to take part in a service-learning trip to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico with Globalworks Travel. The students worked hard at fundraising all year long and were able to raise $21,000 so that every student who wanted to had the opportunity to take the trip! Chaperoned by BIHS teachers Ross Parker, Susan Jones, Peter Rodrigues and Douglas Dohrer, the group braved the 100+ degree weather of the Yucatan and had a fantastic 10 days filled with sight-seeing, community service, and serious beach time. The group built 10 concrete floors for needy families, delivered food to the elderly and disabled, and performed beach trail work and plantings. In between their hard work they took salsa dancing lessons, made hammocks, swam in underground rivers, and observed nesting sea turtles at midnight. A great time was had by all! (For more photos of the Mexico trip, see our Shutterfly gallery.