Humans of Trinity Prep: The Trip of a Lifetime

Preston Copenhaver (’17) took a trip to the Dominican Republic this past summer for a community service project.  During his time there, he, along with multiple other Trinity families, helped families in need.  Read below to hear more about his journey from his point of view.

 

   What did you do in the Dominican Republic, and how did you hear about this opportunity?

My group and I worked in conjunction with Mission Emmanuel in Cielo, a small community outside of the huge capital city of Santo Domingo, to build houses for those in need.  I found out about this through Chas Cook, class of 2016, who had been going for several years with his church in Winter Park.  For the past two years, several Trinity families have gone together.

   Why did you choose to go on this specific trip?
   I chose to do this because I had never been out of the country and wanted to experience different cultures and meet new people.  I had always wanted to do a trip disconnected from tour guides, a trip which allowed me to experience the unfiltered culture of the place I visited, and this seemed like the perfect fit.
   What was the biggest impact the trip had on you?
    The largest impact the trip had on me was the extreme poverty which the people we were helping lived in.  The families were raising 3 or 4, sometimes even 5 children in a house the size of a closet with no running water.  Though the people I met were very poor, they always found something to smile about, and I couldn’t help but smile with them.
   What was one of your favorite memories from the trip?
   The funniest memory I have of the trip is when I got into a debate with a patient at a leprosorium, a treatment center for people with Leprosy, about the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight.  All I’m saying is Pacquiao definitely should have won…Floyd just ran around in circles.
   What was the most rewarding part of your trip?
   The most special moment of the trip this past summer was the dedication of a finished house we had worked on all week to a family in need.  Giving a family a foundation upon which they can build a successful future…that has become one of my favorite experiences of my entire life.