Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Help the Queen go to Spain!

By now, ya'll have definitely heard me mention my best friend Rebecca (aka "The Queen"), who has been like a second sister to Natalie and me since we were kids. She eats Thanksgiving dinner at my grandma's house, has presents under the Christmas tree (even though she's Jewish), and knows just about every terrible thing about me, but loves me anyway. You should all be so lucky to have a friend like that.

RRB and me, celebrating our 30th bdays in Vegas this past October

I don't have many regrets, but I do regret that when I was given the chance to backpack Europe with Rebecca during Christmas vacation back in college, I opted to stay home. Rebecca was a Spanish major, which is hilarious if you went to our high school and knew how much she raised hell for Senora Weakley. But regardless, she has a passion for the language, and she cemented her love for the culture from that backpacking trip, along with semesters spend in Spain and Argentina, and most recently, during summers, to Mexico. (I don't think the senior trip to Cancun counts.)

A double undergrad major and two Master's degrees later, Rebecca is an incredibly passionate and truly wonderful teacher, currently found molding young minds through Spanish education at Carver High School in Birmingham. Primarily, her students come from low-income, African American families. To say that her work is challenging is an understatement, but she loves it. She thrives there. She has such a heart for reaching out for these kids and spends a great deal of her own money to make sure they get the best education she can provide, plus perks like bringing in authentic tamales and other culturally relevant happenings that enrich their lives. I seriously can't tell you enough how much she inspires me daily with her dedication to education and to these children in particular. I'm constantly in awe, and more than ever, I know that it takes a truly special person to be an educator. (Especially in Alabama's public school system.)

With that being said, Rebecca just found out that she got approved, along with the French teacher there at CHS, to bring 12 kids to France and Spain this summer for true immersion into the cultures they study. The kids were selected through an essay/application process, and all 12 have an interest in using foreign language in their careers. Here's the kicker - they have to raise $45,000, and they only have about a month to do it. It's not impossible, and both the teachers and the kids are fundraising, along with the help of corporate/community sponsors.

Please consider donating just $15 to her cause - every little bit counts. Or if your family or office want to donate to something this holiday season, but have yet to select a charity, I urge you to help out these kids and help my friend. Please forward this on to anyone else you think may be interested in donating or sponsoring.

If you would like to donate, please visit www.adventuresinfranceandspain.com. The deadline is January 20th.

Here's a video made especially for the campaign - these kids are hilarious. My favorite is the girl who says "ohhh the foods, the flavors." I feel  ya, girlfriend.