HPU Freshman Completes Year Of Mission Work In Dominican Republic

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 29, 2009 – Anna Mahathey, a freshman sociology major at High Point University, has already taken part in several social experiments that will help her in her educational career on campus ? she has a burning passion for mission work.

Mahathey, who took part in several mission trips during her high school years, says her most recent trip was to the Dominican Republic, where she spent an entire year completing mission work.

“I arrived in the Dominican Republic not knowing at all what to expect,” Mahathey explains. “I did not speak the language, did not know the culture, and I didn’t know anyone there. I started the year off working in Cure International, which is a hospital that specializes in orthopedics. There, I worked as a secretary and had the opportunity to help in physical therapy. I also worked with the Youth for Christ ministry called Vida Full, a youth ministry located in one of the ghettos in Santo Domingo. There, we held weekly club events with youths ages 15-19.?

Mahathey began a children’s ministry called Sala De Tarea ? similar to an after-school care program.

“I helped the kids with their homework, played games inside, ran around outside and had daily crafts and Bible time with them,” she says.

But her year of mission work was not all fun and games, she explains.

“The year in the Dominican Republic was the hardest thing I?ve ever done. It tested my patience multiple times,” Mahathey says. “I had to figure out ways to earn their trust and respect, to have fun with them and show them that I truly loved and cared for them.”

Mahathey, who also completed mission work in Juarez, Mexico, as well as Toronto, Canada, hopes to return to the Dominican Republic during the summer to visit with the children again.

Ultimately, she hopes to earn a master’s degree in social work, and is interested in working with at-risk children.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in a fun environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students from 50 countries and 44 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” HPU was included in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For” 2009 listings. The university offers 68 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at www.highpoint.edu.

Chris DudleyVice President for Administration336-841-4530cdudley@highpoint.edu

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