Joseph Genova, age 20, is setting out from Northwest Indiana all the way to Guatemala to help make a difference in many lives. Below you can read the description of what he is going to be doing, and how you can help. I got the chance to ask him a few questions as well, which you can read farther on the page. We can all strive to do something like Joseph! Best of luck to him and his future!
“On May 3, 2012 I will be waking up at 1:00am to catch a 4:00am flight departing from O’Hare International airport only to land in Guatemala City 7 short hours later. Once I arrive, I will be on a bus heading to the impoverished village of La Labor, which will then begin my first of seven days of mission work involving: helping rebuild churches, painting houses, fixing fences, constructing areas, helping children, and doing overall good for the community. For the past 10 years a small group of 6-9 people, including students and faculty of Calumet College of St. Josephs (CCSJ), have been traveling down there each year (personally funded) in order to help out a village in desperate need of assistance. I am a sophomore at CCSJ, and I am proud to say that this will be my first year going, and I am more than excited to be able to lend a hand. Unfortunately, being a full time student doesn’t allow for a steady income, and paying for such a trip at my own expense has so far exceeded the amount of $1,200 dollars leaving little to no room for anything in my budget. The aim of my writing is to simply ask for a small donation (Anything you can give will be helpful) to help buy extra supplies for the schools/children. All proceeds will be used to buy crayons, pencils, coloring books, soccer balls, and anything else that may be needed to help improve the lives of these kids. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! As said before, All of the money donated will be put towards a good cause so why not donate?? And if money is an issue, and you have some new or slightly used supplies then I will be more than happy to take those as well!
You can find an event for his mission on Facebook by clicking here.
You can donate to the cause by clicking here.
What made you want to go on your mission?
I have wanted to go on this mission for quite some time and being that the opportunity had finally presented itself made it my top priority. I have heard stories and seen pictures from my parents travels to Guatemala, and seeing/hearing about the differences they made had me hooked on dedicating myself to helping others like they have. The main factor in me going involves the opportunity to help the children in need and give them the ability to have a bright and exciting future.
What do you hope to accomplish most by going on your mission? On this mission I hope to above all else “Make A Difference.” I am set on helping the children set their goals on achieving their dreams, and plan on doing hard labor in order to improve the conditions in which they live. I also am excited to experience a culture much different from my own and obtain a new perspective on a life I have yet to know.
What is your experience with parkour? I have trained parkour for 3 years and have traveled the country meeting a variety of Traceurs. I have taught parkour for almost a year and a half for the PMPA and have participated in many “Jams” and performances.
Has parkour helped you set your sights on helping others? Absolutely! Parkour has from the very first day shown me to respect not only the environment in which I train but also the practitioners and people around me. In doing this I have been able to volunteer my time teaching Parkour for the Progressive Motion Parkour Association (PMPA) to both kids and adults. In doing this I have felt a sense of accomplishment by seeing the progression of a once discouraged youth to a strong person filled with devotion and self esteem. The feeling of seeing other progress in not only their movement but also their life if one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life.
What can others do to help in their community? Traceurs and citizens alike can contribute to their communities by participating in community service and practicing “Leave No Trace.” Leave No Trace is a Parkour movement dedicated towards keeping your environment pollution free by leaving no trace of your presence in places that you train or spend your time. One of the most important things, though, that a person can do for their community is to donate their time and efforts towards helping keep their community clean and free of garbage, and by volunteering at public establishments.
How can people get involved to help you?
The first step to getting involved is to be aware! The second is to spread the awareness! It is too easy to live your life day to day and forget about the misfortune going on in the world around you. People can lend a hand and get involved by helping rebuild and clean up their own communities and spread the awareness of whats going on in the world around them. Donating is definitely a big factor that many people can contribute to. With just a few dollars a box of crayons can be bought, and many kids will have to opportunity to stimulate their creativity through drawing and writing as a result.