ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Members of the Naval Academy Midshipman Action Group (MAG) are selflessly spending their spring breaks, March 9-18, assisting with a variety of community service projects around the country.
Eleven midshipmen will travel to Port Aransas, Texas, to assist a disabled veteran and his four children, by helping rebuild their home which was damaged by Hurricane Harvey. The midshipmen will assist with various stages of the rebuilding process, including painting, insulating, hanging drywall and other construction tasks.
“I am excited to work side-by-side with the veteran whose home MAG will be helping rebuild,” said Texas team lead and MAG president, Midshipman 1stClass Ted Johnson. “His story and sacrifice inspire me to be a better midshipman, service member and person.”
Eight midshipmen traveling to New York will volunteer at the Variety Boys and Girls Club in Queens, N.Y. The midshipmen will conduct science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach through “STEM-in-a-box” projects. These projects were created by the USNA STEM office, and will allow midshipmen to interact and mentor youth using hands-on projects to show students how science, engineering and math apply to everyday life. Midshipmen will also facilitate conversations on healthy habits and fitness awareness.
“We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to utilize our Spring Breaks meaningfully and in service to others,” said the New York team lead, Midshipman 2ndClass Cullen Harper. “Simply having the ability to help others in whatever way we can, whether it be introducing them to STEM or simply enjoying fun activities and making a positive impact, is a truly rewarding experience.”
Six midshipmen will travel to Bellingham, Wash., to work at the Lummi Tribal Boys and Girls Club. Midshipmen will mentor youth, facilitate conversations on healthy habits and fitness awareness, and discuss science and technology, also through the “STEM-in-a-box” projects. The midshipmen will also help youth design, construct, and plant garden boxes, whose vegetable harvests will later be used by the entire Lummi Tribal community.
“The Naval Academy is a very hectic place, and at times we forget to stop and reflect on how fortunate we are to be here,” said Washington team lead, Midshipman 1stClass Enock Langat. “During this trip, I plan on encouraging my team to reflect on our time at the academy as we share our experiences. We will also take time to reflect on why we serve and encourage the kids to serve their communities in whatever way they can.”
“The Midshipman Action Group has carefully planned each of these alternative spring break trips with community partners on the ground in New York City, Washington State and Texas,” said Naval Academy Community Relations Director, Miriam Stanicic. “We are all very enthusiastic about helping a member of our military family rebuild his home in Texas after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the midshipmen are also excited to share their love of science and math with local youth in Boys and Girls Clubs on the east and west coast, while learning about the vibrant and diverse communities they are visiting. The United States Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation proudly funds the Midshipman Action Group spring break trips and continues to give back to USNA’s future leaders of character, courage and commitment.”
Established in 1992 as a community relations program for and by the Brigade of Midshipmen, MAG currently offers a variety of educational, environmental and social service volunteer projects in coordination with community partners from the Annapolis, Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas, as well as regional and national partners. MAG members participate in numerous local volunteer and community service programs throughout the academic year. MAG prepares midshipmen for future service by encouraging peer leadership, teamwork, character development, morale, selflessness and goodwill towards others.
Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. U.S. News and World Report has recognized the Naval Academy as a top five undergraduate engineering school and a top 20 best liberal arts college. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects such as leadership, ethics, small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, cyber security, and military law. Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 25 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.