Cardinals take time out to give back, leave with lasting memories

Cardinals take time out to give back, leave with lasting memories

WASHINGTON – As part of Catholic University’s MLK Day of Service on Saturday, January 19, the CUA men’s soccer team was one of several Cardinal squads to help out in the local community.  Head Coach Travis Beauchamp’s team traveled to Burrville Elementary School in Washington, and after doing their part to give back, the Cardinals had a chance to meet a very special guest.

The Cardinals left campus early in the morning, after being addressed by CUA President John Garvey.  Once at Burrville Elementary, the team split into groups and worked on a number of projects, including painting murals and building bookshelves.

Just prior to entering the building, Beauchamp and his team noticed there seemed to be an unusually large amount of security.  It soon began to make sense.

“About an hour into working on the projects, our team began to hear rumors that someone very important was headed to the school,” Beauchamp explains.  “Pretty soon, a motorcade appeared, and next all of the volunteers were ushered into the auditorium.”

It was at this time when the Cardinals were ecstatic to find that United States President Barack Obama and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, were waiting for the volunteers.  The Obamas commended everyone in attendance and spoke about the importance of service.

Click here to see what the Obamas had to say.

“To be able to see the President and First Lady and listen to them speak was an unbelievable experience for our young men,” Beauchamp said. “It was a great way to add to an already very fulfilling day of service.”

“I really enjoyed lending a helping hand in the community for the MLK Day of Service,” sophomore Torsten Meuschke explained.  “We visited Burrville Elementary School to build bookcases, as well as paint the blacktop where the kids have recess.”

He continued, “Not only was the service a rewarding task in itself, but the President of the United States of America was helping out in the same school as we were.  At the end of the day we were able to hear President Obama and the First Lady give a short speech and we even shook their hands.  All of this happened to occur on my 20th birthday, definitely resulting in one of the greatest days of my life.”

Freshman Nico Bartolomeo shared his thoughts on the experience.  “The service day was a great experience for the team.  My group contributed by painting flags, a giant soccer ball and a racetrack on the pavement for the kids to enjoy.  The other group built a bunch of much needed bookcases for the classrooms.  It was a great way to give back to the community and to bond as a team.  The biggest surprise was meeting and talking to President Obama.  Overall, the day was a success and one that will never be forgotten!”

Check out what other CUA teams did on the MLK Day of Service.