Meet Peter (Student Ambassador) | By Michael Chen

Getting to know Peter Curtin – Written by Michael Chen (E2P Content Writer)

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On the surface, Peter Curtin seems like another
college-bound high school student. Peter has good grades and is a
talented wrestler at the St. Paul’s School (SPS), an independent school
based in Concord, New Hampshire with a strong record of guiding its
students to Ivy League colleges. It was there that Peter was introduced
to Empower2Play (E2P) through Coach AK, the Associate Dean of Students
at the school at the time. Peter found himself drawn to Coach AK’s
commitment to the progress and his passion when he spoke about E2P.

A few months later Peter was on the back of a World War II-era jeep
in the densely-packed streets of Quezon City, just outside of Manila in
the Philippines. Not only was Quezon City geographically a world apart
from SPS for Peter, the symphony of sounds from cars, bikes, and people
starkly contrasted the relative tranquility of Concord.

 

“We take everything we have for
granted and these people have very little in comparison, yet they are so
happy and gracious. I think that is amazing. For me the most important
lesson I learned is to live in the moment. Be vulnerable to everything
that might happen and don’t miss what’s going on in the world around,
because if you do you might just miss a beautiful life-changing moment.”

The antique jeep was headed towards the Marcos Compound Community in
the Paso Tamong district, one of the many underfunded communities in
Quezon City, weaving through traffic and peeling past street vendors
selling everything from technicolored flip-flops to mp4 players. Locals
donned umbrellas to block out the sun and paid little attention to the
frantically hurried vehicles.

In 2014, Peter Curtin, along with his friends, Drew Eckler and Harrison Garrett, were part of the first student ambassadors
in the E2P program. The programs goal is to reach children in
underfunded communities and use sports as a method to unite communities.

In the Marcos Compound, E2P introduced the game of American football to over 300 children, provided over 2500 meals and awarded 16 educational scholarships.
One of Peter’s favorite moments was when he first arrived at the Marcos
Compound. Hundreds were there to greet the E2P team. Among those were
many children who had been waiting after school for hours. The
children’s hands clamored over the vehicle as it slowed to a halt. The
sky was pierced with broken English and laughs. It was at this moment
when Peter fully recognized the importance of E2P’s goals.

ambassadorsandkids

One of Peter’s favorite moments was when he first arrived at the
Marcos Compound. Hundreds were present to greet the E2P team. Among
those were many children who had been waiting after school for hours
awaiting our arrival. The children’s hands clamored over the vehicle as
it slowed to a halt. The sky was pierced with broken English and
laughter. It was at this moment when Peter fully recognized the
importance of E2P’s goals.

Peter and the E2P team worked tirelessly for two weeks straight
preparing for the camp, often times going to bed late into the night.
Not only did Peter help with the planning of the event, he also
physically help build the football field, removing rocks and painting
the lines. Peter felt his confidence and communication skills regularly
challenged as he was thrusted into a position of leadership. This was
apparent when Peter had to communicate with his host family who only
knew a few words of English.

peter curtin jason

Though the trip was taxing mentally and physically, Peter claimed
that it was one of the greatest experiences in his life. He remembered
one moment in particular where he sat on a nearby hill overlooking the
event unfolding before him. “Seeing the kids laugh and joke and the
entire community out there made everything worth it.”

smiling girl empower 2 play

“Seeing the kids laugh and joke and the entire community out there made everything worth it.”

Peter is currently a senior at SPS and is preparing for college next
fall. He is extremely proud of being a part of E2P’s efforts to bring
sports to underfunded communities and strongly encourages students that
will come after him to have an experience abroad. He hopes that his
story will inspire the next generational of student ambassadors for E2P
and strives every day to hold on to his memories of Quezon City, the
Marcus Compound, and most importantly the faces of all those he brought
American football.

Empower 2 Play Empower to Play

“We take everything we have for
granted and these people have very little in comparison, yet they are so
happy and gracious. I think that is amazing. For
me
the most important lesson I learned is to live in the moment. Be
vulnerable to everything that might happen and don’t miss what’s going
on in the world around, because if you do you might just miss a
beautiful life-changing moment.”

 

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