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Mark’s Pre-Trip Blog

I’m excited to take part in this mission trip in order to give back and pay it forward to my fellow man.  My own family has recently gone through an eventful year with our second child, Finley.  Born with a congenital heart defect (Tetralogy of Fallot), we relied on the Levine Children’s Hospital here in Charlotte, NC to help our son have a chance to live a normal life. We were truly grounded and the one constant thought on a daily basis was, “just give my child a chance.” After months of turmoil, stress and the unknown—our family was on the winning side of the first battle he has encountered and Finley is now a strong, four month old, growing fast and furious.  We aren’t out of the woods yet, but goal number one has happened—we are giving him a fighting chance to have a normal life.

For me, working to give these kids a chance is my way of giving back for the good we’ve received this past year.  I’m so very excited to help in the programs A2S will be launching this year, as well as implementing a student ID program at the academy.  With over 200 kids, all of them will receive a student ID that they will carry with them for identification purposes along with a cardholder and a custom A2S lanyard.  A2S staff will also be enrolled for their own ID’s too.

I’ve been fortunate to travel around the world, as well as Africa when I was just out of college, however I’m sure this trip will be a sobering one that will help recalibrate the importance of things in my life.

I am ready to help provide these kids the tools they’ll need to have a better chance of doing whatever their dreams are.

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