A Zimbabwean student at Ohio State University in the United States has won a scholarship while doing voluntary work at YMCA summer camp in New Rochelle, New York.
US media report that Archie Boka was visiting family for the summer, staying with an aunt while on break from school at Ohio State University where he is a burgeoning track star.
The YMCA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
Since Boka was new to the area, he says he didn’t know anyone. He was playing basketball on the court at the YMCA one day during a time reserved for kids when he was approached by a man who wouldn’t let him play because he was new and said he needed to do a background check.
As he left, the CEO of the center spotted Boka and approached him, learning his story.The CEO says on a whim, she offered him a volunteer job at their summer camp. Boka says the experience of being a counselor helped him learn the value of community.
“It’s been life changing. I’m a better man than I was at the start of the summer,” says Boka.As an international student, he was unable to get paid but was surprised with a $4,000 scholarship from the YMCA. Boka says the money will help but what’s more valuable to him is the lessons he learned.
“What I’m taking from this experience is great friendship, mental development, great memories, a great summer- a summer I’ll never forget,” says Boka.
The core principals at the YMCA in New Rochelle are respect, caring, honesty and responsibility – and officials at the YMCA say that no one embodied that more this summer than camp counselor Archie Boka.