Traveling for a Cause

Bulldog athlete Ashley Huntey uses spring break to make a difference in Jamaica

by Published: Mar 23, 2011

Giving Back: Ashley Huntey, a junior on the Ferris State volleyball team, helps cement a building during mission trip with Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf over spring break. Photo Courtesy of Ashley Huntey

Giving Back: Ashley Huntey, a junior on the Ferris State vol­ley­ball team, helps cement a build­ing dur­ing mis­sion trip with Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf over spring break. Photo Courtesy of Ashley Huntey

Junior Ashley Huntey and other Ferris ath­letes took a trip to Jamaica dur­ing spring break to help change deaf children’s lives.

Huntey, a junior vol­ley­ball player from Stanwood major­ing in nurs­ing, orga­nized a mis­sion trip with the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf. The CCCD is a United States orga­ni­za­tion that has set up three schools in Jamaica for deaf chil­dren to attend. They are sta­tioned in Montego Bay, Kingston, and Knockpatrick.

In Jamaica, peo­ple who are deaf are con­sid­ered a minor­ity. The CCCD’s schools pro­vide a way for deaf chil­dren to learn, com­mu­ni­cate with oth­ers, build life skills, and develop the skills needed to pur­sue a career after school. The CCCD also looks to teach its stu­dents about Christianity and God.

For the last two years, Huntey has been spon­sor­ing a boy from one of the CCCD schools in Jamaica. While at Montego Bay, Huntey and her group helped rebuild a wall that had been dam­aged by a flood, paint around cam­pus, clean up, and spend time with the chil­dren. The group Huntey was part of also orga­nized a track and field day for the children.

“I know our efforts leave a last­ing effect on the school because we are help­ing them build things, take care of things and be a men­tor to chil­dren that are part of a poorer area,” said Huntey. “It’s also a last­ing effect in the eyes of God. We as His peo­ple and have been called to preach and teach the word of God to oth­ers and help those that are less for­tu­nate, which is exactly what this mis­sion trip was for.”

Huntey went on a mis­sion trip two years prior to this trip and ever since then she has wanted to do more for those in need. Huntey’s first trip led her want­ing to go back, she said. So she gath­ered some of her team­mates and friends to go help on her sec­ond trip.

“I really got into help­ing peo­ple through my faith,” said Huntey. “I have become very pas­sion­ate about help­ing others.”

Once she joined Ferris State University, the oppor­tu­ni­ties pre­sented them­selves. Huntey is both a vol­ley­ball player and enrolled in the hon­ors pro­gram, there­fore com­mu­nity ser­vice is a require­ment. Huntey attrib­utes the growth of her pas­sion for assist­ing peo­ple to the com­mu­nity ser­vice she has given while at Ferris.

“It was an amaz­ing trip. I sug­gest to any­one think­ing of mis­sions or just going and help­ing oth­ers in a less for­tu­nate sit­u­a­tions to go,” said Huntey.

Huntey fin­ished her 2010 vol­ley­ball sea­son with 264 digs and 338 kills for her junior sea­son, secur­ing the second-best spot on the team in both categories.

Currently, Huntey and the vol­ley­ball team are in spring prac­tice. Spring train­ing focuses on devel­op­ment for the fall season.

The Bulldog vol­ley­ball team also just fin­ished a spring match against Oakland University on March 19. Ferris will com­pete at Central Michigan on March 26 for another non-recorded match. n