Written by Andrea Husler
American civil rights activist Dorothy Height said, “Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.” Understanding the importance of service, Calvary Baptist Christian Academy (CBCA) affords its students opportunities to serve their community. Last month, students brainstormed ideas that they can be involved in reaching their community. Diego, a seventh grader, proposed holding a march to raise awareness for breast cancer. This October, the March for Breast Cancer Awareness involved students, parents, and teachers alike.
In 1985, October became recognized as breast cancer awareness month. Its goal is to educate people about breast cancer as well as encourage those struggling with it and celebrating those who have survived. The signature pink ribbon became iconic in 1992 when Estee Lauder Cosmetics gave out 1.5 million ribbons, thus becoming the symbol for breast cancer awareness.
Upon Diego’s suggestion, CBCA planned a march for October 15th to raise awareness for breast cancer. Students worked throughout the month on cards, posters, and crafts for this special day.
For the event, students and teachers paid to dress down for the day. Parents and community members gave donations as well. CBCA then donated all proceeds to the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens.
Pink was the dress down color of that day. Some students even created their own T-shirts for the event.
Everyone was excited for the march. But as the day dawned, the initial forecast of sunshine slowly turned to a prediction of rain. Despite this, the event went on.
Marvin, an 11th grader and student body council member, opened the program with a piano prelude. He stated he was grateful for the opportunity to support people who are suffering with breast cancer. Tiffany Jeremiah, acting principal of CBCA, welcomed the audience and those watching via live-stream, thanking everyone for their support. She then introduced Lions Club of Tropical Gardens’ breast cancer chairperson, Maxine Bravo.
The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens is a member of Lions International, an organization dedicated to serving communities. Started in 1993, Lions Club of Tropical Gardens began working in Cayman. It is best known for its Breast Cancer awareness campaign.
In her presentation, Ms. Bravo shared with the students helpful information regarding signs and prevention methods of breast cancer. Breast cancer awareness is important as early detection increases chances of treatment. The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens works to teach the community of breast cancer. Maxine stated that the purpose of breast cancer awareness is so that, “women as well as men in our community are aware, educated, and informed. Students can share information with family and friends who are not present [at the event].”
Ms. Bravo then opened the floor for questions from the CBCA’s students. One student asked how breast cancer affects the other parts of the body including the brain. Another asked whether persons are born with cancer cells. Ms. Maxine did an excellent job at answering student questions.
After Maxine’s speech, students presented their artwork - posters and paintings all involving pink. One sign—pink ribbon with the word “strength” emblazoned across—held significance for Maxine. A similar sign had once hung in the Lions Club lobby but had broken. Thanks to the students of CBCA, she has another one which will be on display at the Lions Club’s office.
After the donation to the Lions Club, Ms. Carla Bodden, a staff member at CBCA, shared her breast cancer survivor story. She quoted the phrase, “My story, God’s glory” as the slogan for her story.
Students showed their support by showering Carla with gifts - everything from cupcakes and a cheesecake to flowers and a fruit basket were presented. The class presidents also presented cards that were designed and written by students to her.
The student body president, Vashti, presented Carla with a lovely bouquet of pink flowers on behalf of the entire CBCA family.
Thankfully, the weather, though gloomy, was dry. The students started the march from CBCA’s campus to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society. Two members of the Student Body Council, Vashti and Ashley, led the march, holding a banner with the school’s name decorated with pink ribbons. Parents, teachers, and friends of CBCA gladly joined the parade of students marching down Walker’s Road holding their handmade pink posters and signs.
The George Town Police Station also helped with the march, providing a police escort for it.
At the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, students once again presented their artwork and cards, encouraging those struggling with breast cancer. Nelson, 12, wrote the following note to a cancer patient: “Hi, my name is Nelson and I am writing this because I know you can fight this cancer so stay strong, beautiful, and put all your faith in God because he is always with you and he loves and cares for you. So put all your faith in Him and remember this verse Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Stay strong, fighter!” Representatives from the cancer society graciously received the artwork.
But it was then that the weather decided to turn. Rain poured, preventing the students from marching back. However, students loaded up the school buses, thankful for the opportunity to make an impact in the community.
Despite the rain, students were involved from the beginning. At CBCA, students learn beyond the books—they learn how to serve.
Calvary Baptist Christian Academy is a K-12 private Christian school located in the heart of George Town. The transformative learning experiences at Calvary Baptist Christian Academy are designed to help our students grow both in and out of the classroom. Established in 2017, Calvary Baptist Christian Academy is a hybrid school that offers the Abeka curriculum the A.C.E (Accelerated Christian Education) curriculum, a challenging and individualized learning program We strive to push students to grow intellectually, morally, and spiritually to reach their full God-given potential.