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Summer in the Dominican Republic

Summer in the Dominican Republic

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Napa students volunteered in the Dominican Republic this summer. 

While summer vacation had just started for most, our team of 10 students from Napa County schools was about to embark on our service-oriented adventure to the Dominican Republic.

“Napa to DR” worked with Outreach360, an easy-to-use platform for organizing service trips to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, where we raised $10,000 to make our journey from June 9-16.

We spent our mornings and afternoons teaching the local children of Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic lessons in English through various lesson plans that we crafted ourselves. Classes at the local public school generally consisted of 15 to 20 kids. We taught at Outreach 360’s learning center as well.

Our lesson plans consisted of basic English lessons to teach kids who know very little English in order for them to be bilingual in the long run, opening more job opportunities to them, breaking them and their families out of the cycle of poverty.

This is our third time working with Outreach360, and we highly recommend them to anyone looking for a way to make a positive impact in the world. Although we are back in Napa Valley, our passion for service doesn’t stop anywhere.

You can find the two of us working on various projects and serving Napa Valley and beyond through The Hero Foundation, a nonprofit charity organization that we founded along with long-time friend Dominic DiPasqua.

We raised money for fire relief back in October and have just finished putting on Junefest, a local charity concert, to raise money for the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and will surely be onto our next project soon.

Do your best to find opportunities to help make the world a better place. If we all do our part, we can save the world. Thank you for reading. Go be a hero!

Raphael Gentry is a incoming senior at New Technology High school, and Michael Rupprecht just graduated from Justin Sienna and is going to attend Whittier College.

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Related to this story

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Michael Rupprecht is a 20-year-old Napa Valley native who created The Hero Foundation.

The Hero Foundation is a team of young adults from Napa County who work together for a better future by participating in service projects, fundraisers, activism, demonstrations, marches “and by projecting peace and love to all we meet,” he said. Read his replies to the 10 Questions here. 

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For 20 years Napa Valley residents have been traveling to Nicaragua to participate in community building projects with Developing Communities, Inc., founded by Jake Scheideman of St. Helena. 

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