Following a busy 2019 season, several Buckeyes set out on new ventures for the summer, including studying abroad overseas, leadership camps and service trips.
A total of 15 Ohio State University student-athletes, including junior Sarah Merza and sophomore Frank Ditullio, journeyed to Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica this past month for the 10th Buckeyes Go International service-learning program. From May 1-7 the student-athletes helped facilitate sport activities with the local youth, engaged in community clean-up efforts, offered support for the food bank, as well as participated in cultural immersion activities and educational opportunities.
“The Costa Rica service abroad trip was an incredibly humbling experience and one I considered to be the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Merza on her experience with the service-learning program. “Being able to serve a community abroad was so surreal. The kids we worked with were constantly full of energy and just so ready to jump into the sports camps we ran. As student-athletes we were able to hone in on so many skills from leadership, communication, etc. and it was great working with one another towards a common goal; bettering the local community.”
Merza explains that the trip allowed her and her fellow student-athletes to be a part of something that is greater than themselves and their sports. She mentions that she has “taken away so much from the trip, cultural experiences, love from the youth and community, and so many other priceless memories.”
Click HERE for more info about the trip
Freshmen Ariel Gluck and Lauryn Deluca joined 44 other OSU student-athletes and traveled to Camp Damascus in Centerburg, Ohio on May 6-8. The athletes spent their time at Camp Damascus working on their leadership skills as part of the Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute. The objective of the camp is to provide “leadership, character and career development for all Ohio State student-athletes to best prepare them for life after graduation.”
“The Wolstein Leadership Academy was a great experience to get to know other athletes in our department and even in the same training facility,” said Deluca. “With the help of Bert and Iris Wolstein, I feel like I learned a lot about myself as a leader and ways in which I can improve our team dynamic. A big takeaway from this experience was tips on how to take this individual sport of fencing and make a team environment.”
Click HERE for more info about the trip
Two Buckeye fencers headed overseas to study abroad. Junior and political science major John Culpepper traveled to Queensland this summer to study human impact on the environment.
“I just finished up my trip in Queensland where I studied human impacts on the environment,” said Culpepper. “We went all over North Queensland, exploring the wet tropics jungle region, sustainable farming in the area and the Great Barrier Reef.”
Sophomore Gabriela Cecchini participated in “The European Model of Sport” after receiving the Buckeyes Go International Scholarship provided by the Athletics Department. She spent a nine-day trip in Italy and Greece learning about sport management.
“It was an incredible experience for me,” said Cecchini. “I had the opportunity to meet amazing people and visit very interesting and beautiful sites. My favorite part of the trip was visiting Olympia, in Greece, which is the city where the Olympic Games started. It was a huge honor to be there, as I am an enthusiast of the Olympic Movement and its values.”
Cecchini’s international travels didn’t stop there. Following her trip, she returned to Brazil to train for upcoming competition on the world stage.
“After the trip, I headed back to Brazil to train with the National Fencing Team for the upcoming competitions. During the summer months, my team will be competing in the Pan American Championships in Toronto, the World Championships in Budapest and the Pam American Games in Lima.”