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J-Term vital to Delmarva Christian student experience

February 12, 2019

Although Jan. 18 marked the end of J-Term 2019 for Delmarva Christian High School students, the impact it made will last for years to come.

Outside the normal classroom environment for several weeks, DCHS engaged in educational experiences that have enabled them to discover God’s call on their lives as they pursued their passions - passions found in mission-work, career-focused internships, team building skills and academic pursuits.

This year’s opportunities included learning from and ministering to others in Germany, Jamaica, London, Paris and Rome. For those students who chose to stay stateside, there were opportunities for volunteer work, business internships, short film production, teambuilding pursuits and survival training. Students also had the opportunity to gain photography skills, study the evolution of film, embark in a bakery competition and learn about the food and traditions found in Spanish culture.

While travelling through Rome this J-Term, DCHS senior Evan Hartnett learned much about leaving a legacy. “In the ruins of a Roman palace, I learned that the most magnificent structures can and will fall over time,” said Evan. “But, the character and integrity of the men who lived in them still stands.”

As for DCHS senior Ben Hobbs, who stayed in Georgetown assisting Habitat for Humanity volunteers, J-Term provided him with a new perspective. “These two weeks helped me understand the importance of serving and giving back to the community with the talents and gifts God has given me,” said Ben. “Also, this time helped me explore God’s call on my life which is to help people through using my hands for building.”

The DCHS J-Term Survival Skills team received CPR and AED certification training from members of the American Heart Association. Not only did the students learn how to perform adult and child cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator, they also received training on how to relieve choking in adults, children and infants.

More than 30 DCHS students enrolled in business internships during J-Term. At their internship, sophomores Haley Pinkstaff and Kandice Schlabach organized bookkeeping records for an established business and conducted marketing research for a start-up. Although both businesses were very different, Haley and Kandice learned skills valuable for business success include dedication, persistence and organization. Sophomore Aaron Webster lent a hand at a local music shop where he learned that good business includes building relationships and helping people.

The Traditional Spanish class students started their J-Term course by shopping at El Mercado Market in Georgetown for the food stuffs they would need to make Central and South American foods like arepas, chilaquiles and pupusas. They learned how to make everything from scratch - nothing was canned or packaged - including the salsa.

On one of the last days of J-Term, the photography class visited national and international award-winning photographer Kevin Fleming at his gallery on Rehoboth Avenue. While at his gallery, students asked questions and heard some of Fleming’s amazing stories that served as a backdrop to some of his photographs.

Despite a drop in temperature to only 32 degrees, the DCHS Habitat for Humanity J-Term team remained hard at work at the Ingram Village Community in Ellendale, enthusiastically installing hurricane clips and building sheds.

The culmination of J-Term 2019 took place during the school’s showcase Jan. 25. Visitors to the school’s arts and athletics center moved around display booths filled with souvenirs from distant lands, survivor gear, culinary delights, movie memorabilia, slide presentations, photography and much more. In the spirit-filled assembly, students led praise and worship, performed human videos and shared testimonies.

Principal Matt Kwiatkowski said, “It was evident that these experiences, simply put, provided opportunities for our students to better understand Christ’s love for them, and where and how to communicate that love with others given their unique strengths and passions.”