Pace's David Barbier returns from Ghana trip

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 0 Comments

Pace's David Barbier returns from Ghana trip


Monsignor Edward Pace High School’s (Pace) senior David Barbier has returned home after a 12-day trip to West Africa’s Republic of Ghana with the Nyah Project Fellowship.

The Nyah Project organization, whose core belief is that “Travel Awakens Leaders,” offered Barbier and 11 other diverse high school students from the South Florida area the opportunity to travel to Ghana in an effort to cultivate stronger leaders in the community, and to prepare them for their future endeavors beyond high school and college. 

Selection process for this fellowship began in August 2017 and consisted of an online application followed by a 16-hour intensive seminar and an interview before a 12-member panel. 

In May, Barbier was excited to learn he had been selected as the first student from Pace to have been chosen for this experience. He then attended several training sessions where he and the other fellows learned about what to expect in their international journey to Ghana and once they arrived to their host town of Akatsi. 

During their trip, the fellows explored the land, learned about the culture and enjoyed meeting the people of Ghana. They witnessed how they could make an impact during their short stay while visiting local elementary, middle and high schools. They supplied the students with basic school supplies, assisted in teaching the younger children lessons in math and reading and enjoyed soccer games with them in the courtyard. 

An especially memorable moment for Barbier was when they had a chance to speak to a group of Ghanaian high school students. In addressing their questions, he was surprised to hear how aware the youth of Ghana was about the issues faced by today’s American teenagers such as gun violence, education and the experience of living as black youth in America.

During another emotional moment, the group met a mother who had lost her husband several years prior. Since then, she had not had the financial means to send her children back to school. The Nyah fellows worked together to gather a pool of their own personal spending money, making it possible for the children to receive tutoring, return to school and continue their education.

“This experience with the Nyah Project has inspired a new attitude within me to pay it forward,” expressed Barbier. “The flame within me to make a difference is burning stronger than ever, and I cannot ignore what’s happening in the world around us.” 

Barbier is an active member of Pace High School. He is involved in various clubs and was elected by his peers as Student Government president for this upcoming school year. This life altering experience will be one that he will never forget, and the lessons learned will translate into his ability to be a stronger leader among Pace’s student body and across many other aspects of his daily life.

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