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September 3, 2010

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September 3, 2010

Quite simply, UniCamp changed the course of my life. In large part due to of this program, I became invested in education and now teach junior high in a Title 1 school. You take the average high-achieving UCLA student who raced through high school with honors in order to gain acceptance to college, then pair that individual up with a student from Los Angeles whose family qualifies for free lunch. The result is a clash of 2 socioeconomic worlds that results in an intimate exchange up in the San Bernadino forest. Beliefs are challenged, stereotypes become shattered, and both sides realize how simple life's smallest denominator really is: each other. UniCamp has a long and storied history in Los Angeles, it is run by good people with vision and heart, and it attracts humble, earnest individuals looking to make a difference. I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone in any capacity.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...my personal life direction, my world-view, my understanding of charitable giving, and in the lives of dozens of campers with whom I maintain contact, years after the "camp week" ended.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

...hearing from campers how the week impacted their lives.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

...positive, motivated, genuine people who have every interest in opening the doorway for students to see not only their potential but that their everyday environment in LA is part of a much, much larger picture.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

...improve its facility in San Bernadino to develop additional programming, like sailing (yes, you can sail in the mountains!) bike-riding, overnight hiking, etc etc.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 3, 2010

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September 3, 2010

UniCamp is, to put it simply, a week of pushing personal boundaries and limits, and opening up to the possibilities of life and friendships. I learned so much from the high school age campers I worked with; they are incredibly talented, passionate, strong, and open-minded. The main outcome our Session focused on was to "pave the path to your passion." We wanted to emphasize to these campers that anything they want to achieve is possible, but that it does take hard work various steps to get there. To my surprise, these kids were SO passionate/ambitious to start with! They honestly have more goals and dreams than I do. They were very responsive to the idea that they have to take little steps to achieve their dreams, and they inspired me to dream bigger. These kids understood that UniCamp was an opportunity for them and made it the best week I could have ever imagined. They've made me realize that one of the most important aspects of life is to the give others whatever I can, whether it be guidance, counseling, a listening ear, anything, because I have been much to blessed to do otherwise. I LOVE UNICAMP, PLEASE SUPPORT!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The feedback I go from campers. So many campers were in tears as they were leaving, and so many of them wished the camp could have been longer. Some of the girls left calling each other sisters and that trust after one week proves the power of UniCamp.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make camp a few days longer, and perhaps include more weeks with high school aged students so that more of these amazing campers could experience this beautiful program.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The interactions and relationships I had with campers.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Beautiful, kind, trustworthy, dedicated, hardworking, genuine, different, down to earth, selfless, kids at heart.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

seriously change the world. Starting with Los Angeles of course.

Ways to make it better...

...we had a way to transport more campers to go sailing off-site!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Having to find the financial support to bring up so many campers for free.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 3, 2010

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September 3, 2010

This was my first year volunteering at Unicamp, and it was seriously the best week of life life! The high school students were incredible and I learned just as much from them as I hope they did from me and the rest of the UCLA student volunteers. This was a week filled with so much love, leadership, bonding, and overall growth. I saw such a positive change in each high school student I got to know over the week. Unicamp was seriously a life changing experience for me and something I can say that I hope to be involved with for many years to come.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I saw such a positive change within the students. The high schoolers came up to me at the end of the week and said that Unicamp helped them see the best in themselves and that they want to go back to their communities and high school leadership programs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make the program longer. Myself as well as the high school students wished that the program was longer than the week. Which speaks volumes about what the program means to not only the volunteers but the campers as well :)

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the interaction with incredible high school students.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the most incredible and big hearted people I have had the opportunity to get to know!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

touch even more hearts and lives of campers!!!

Ways to make it better...

the week of camp had been longer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

fundraising the money to bring the campers up to camp.

One thing I'd also say is that...

thank you Unicamp, session 7 campers and counselors for giving me this amazing opportunity!!!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 3, 2010

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September 3, 2010

My two years participating in Unicamp have been absolutely amazing. Last year, when I was a counselor, I really admired how the program was run; everything about camp was being taken care of by my Leadership; whether it was making sure we were trained, making sure we, as volunteers, were getting along with one another, making sure all of our paperwork was turned in. They really did a good job making sure the volunteers were prepared for camp, which ultimately resulted in an amazing week up at camp for me and the rest of the volunteers. This inspired me to become more involved in the organization, and so I applied to be on Leadership for the 09-10 year. I got it, and I fell in love with the organization even more. Being on Leadership was an entirely different, but just as fantastic experience. Leadership is also trained by the program directors; training us to become experienced enough to train our volunteers. The thing I appreciate about UCLA Unicamp is the hierarchy of support there is. The campers are the volunteers' responsibility, the volunteers are leadership's responsibility, and the members of leadership are the program director's responsibility. The hierarchy continues, but what I earnestly appreciate about the program is this hierarchy, this continuum of support in the case that any one person, camper or volunteer, needs anything. All in all, this organization is the most well run organization I have been a part of. I have been in many other volunteer organizations, and there is definitely a reason why UCLA Unicamp has a rich, long-standing history of 75 years.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've definitely experienced results to the fullest. I appreciate everything Unicamp has taught me.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 3, 2010

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September 3, 2010

What an amazing organization. It seriously exceeds all camps I've ever been to. UniCamp is rich with tradition, and your camp experience will be like no other. Every single "staff member" is a volunteer and has undergone hundreds of hours of training for a week at camp. Therefore, everyone is highly qualified to deal with various situations that arise. Not only are the counselors there to babysit the kids like at other camps I've seen, but they are actually there to be a counselor and turn the world around one kid at a time. As a counselor, I've seen so many kids grow this week that I didn't expect to happen. In a nutshell, going to UniCamp will be the best week of your life.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

several of the campers that I've seen grow and change in this one week.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Open up more sessions so that more kids and volunteers can partake in this amazing experience.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunity to put aside my life and really just enjoy the nature for a week.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the best people I've ever met. Caring, fun, empathetic. More kind words could not be said about them.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Open up more weeks of camp and send more kids to camp! It could also help pay for a bigger portion of the subsidized fee that the campers have to pay. It would also help out volunteers who currently fundraise $375 for the campers.

Ways to make it better...

the water didn't get me sick everyday.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funds. We charge campers such $75 out of the $550 it actually costs us to send a camper to camp. Because of this, it's really hard to do anything special and most things that cost money come out of volunteer pockets.

One thing I'd also say is that...

nothing!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 3, 2010

more

September 3, 2010

In a word: amazing. The people you meet, the memories you make, the lives you reach out to... and it's not just for the kids. While our demographic of under-served youth in Los Angeles truly benefit from a week up at camp away from city life, the volunteers gain so much from the experience as well. I remember my first year as a volunteer when I drove a group of kids to the lake for a day of sailing. One of them told me he would try really hard to do well in school so that he could go to UCLA and be a camp counselor just like us. For one week, the kids and counselors can be whoever they want to be - that's why we choose camp names. They spend time in the great outdoors with more exposure to nature than Los Angeles could ever offer. And my favorite part of being a specialist - you help these kids set goals and push them to go just a little bit further. The Alpine Tower is a 50-foot-tall challenge course, and as the kids climb, they are belayed, guided, and encouraged by the specialist. I had one boy who only wanted to go to the halfway point, which is fine. Once he was there, I asked him if he wanted to try going up a little more. And then a little more. Before I knew it, he was climbing onto the highest platform overlooking the campsite and the San Bernardino mountains beyond. He was incredulous at having reached the top, and the wide smile on his face just made all of the training and days of not showering completely worth it.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my personal life. I have learned a lot from working with these kids and I hope to never take that for granted.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

offer more sessions each summer in order to provide this opportunity to more kids.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting new people, both kids and volunteers. UniCamp has a way of bringing together students from all facets of campus life.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

simply amazing.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

send even more kids to camp, expand the Camp River Glen facilities, provide opportunities for mentorship and volunteer-camper interaction outside of the one week at camp.

Ways to make it better...

I could shower. Just kidding! I don't love the Woodsey challenge, but it's a camp tradition.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 3, 2010

more

September 3, 2010

UCLA UniCamp has changed my life. I have been a volunteer for this organization since my first year at UCLA (2007). The bonds that I have made with my campers and my fellow volunteers have been amazing. We provide an experience that many of our campers might not otherwise be able to have, and we truly make a difference in the lives of our campers, and they make a lasting impact on the lives of the volunteers as well.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my personal life as well as the lives of our campers. We become support systems and mentors that are there for as long as our kids need us.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 3, 2010

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September 3, 2010

In the early 90's I was a camp counselor for several years and the experience was such an amazing experience to be able to work with kids who got so much out of a week-long trek to this foreign country 1 hour outside of their normal stomping grounds. There was such enthusiasm and dedication from the volunteers that had come before me that was infectious and made returning to UniCamp an easy decision. I really enjoyed the friendships I made, the learning and insight I received from the kids we were counseling and the experience of being part of such a long-running volunteer organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

personal growth, friendships

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the friendships made, people touched, experiences acquired

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, fun-loving, giving, big-hearted, creative, loud, enthusiastic, irreverent.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand its program to other colleges, provide camp and academic scholarships and start retention programs and tracking of its volunteers and attendees.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 3, 2010

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September 3, 2010

My sister "Chiquita" was part of UniCamp in the 90s when she went to UCLA. I remember summers where she would disappear to volunteer as a counselor and I would be so upset as the younger brother because my sister was not around. The moment I became a Bruin, I knew I had to be a part of the organization that took her from me what felt like every summer. I immediately knew why she was "Chiquita" and I became "Leech." I was glad to share her then and I was thrilled to share myself. In the end I got so much more back from UniCamp then what I gave to it. I received life long friends and lessons. Everyday in the classroom as a teacher, I look back to my UniCamp experience. I look at my students as a whole child as UniCamp taught me. This amazing organization shaped me into the teacher and person I am today.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

how I approach my second and third graders everyday.

More feedback...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

spread its greatness in other low-income areas.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2005

September 3, 2010

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September 3, 2010

I was a UNICAMP Volunteer in 1993. I grew up similar to these kids and wanted to give back. I had unique gifts from a family who sort of adopted me. I remember coming back from camp after two weeks and seeing a different person in the mirror. A giving and alive young woman who I always wanted to be. The kids had the opportunity many kids will never have regardless of background. They learned, I learned, we all learned!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

everything I do.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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