University of Michigan's Meagan Cobb Gives Back in Ecuador Building Project
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Rising senior Meagan Cobb (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) was one of three University of Michigan student-athletes to partner with Student-Athletes Leading Social Change and take a 10-day trip to build one of the schools the organization funded in Chismaute, Ecuador.
The trio joined a cast of 15 other students from the University of Illinois, Lehigh University, the University of North Carolina, Central Michigan University and Iowa State University.
Michigan aligned with SALSC as one of three charities that split the proceeds from the annual Mock Rock fundraiser in February.
Combined with the other SALSC chapters on the trip, the group raised $70,000 to construct a school for the children of Chismaute. Mock Rock and Michigan alone raised $18,000 in support of SALSC.
The group dug trenches for the foundation for the school, filled it with rocks, made cement and bricks, and completed the foundation of one of the schools SALSC funded. The money raised for the trip helped to build the school, help with water, and donate to a girls’ club and a safe sports facility in the village.
“It was great to get our hands dirty and really work like the members of the Chismaute community,” Cobb said. “We were side-by-side with them doing heavy lifting with rocks and wheelbarrows and shovels.
“All community service is gratifying, but this was special.”
It wasn’t all work. The students spent two days in Quito, the capitol of Ecuador, to jumpstart the trip and took a visit to the nearby equator.
And then there was fútbol.
Children throughout the village of Chismaute visited the building project and brought along their trusty soccer balls to give the student-athletes a break from laying the foundation of the school. The natives of the small village spoke a mixture of Spanish and Quechua, a dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes region.
Cobb, who leads Michigan’s SALSC chapter alongside Haley Kopmeyer, the goaltender of the women’s soccer team, said the group expects to send more willing students across the globe next summer.
“As student-athletes, and as students at Michigan in general, we are so blessed to have everything that we have — to turn on the sink and have running water, to be able to afford education.