As a former student-athlete at Blue Springs South High School, Brett Shamblin knows just how heated the cross-town rivalry with Blue Springs High School can be.
“It’s a pretty bitter rivalry,” Shamblin, a 2008 PSU grad, said. “These are high school kids that, when put on the same playing court or field, really don’t like each other that much. It’s intense.”
Off the court, however, it can be different story. Never was that more true than this July when students from both high schools teamed up to take part in missionary service in Jamaica.
Shamblin led the group on the trip, during which the students helped build homes for the homeless. The trip, sponsored by Won By One To Jamaica, took place from July 7-14.
This year marked the third for Shamblin and BSHS students, but it was the first year that the South students also took part.
“It was so amazing to see those kids come together for a common purpose to serve that community,” Shamblin said. “Sure, when they are playing against one another, they are rivals. But on something like this, they all came together as a family and did a lot of good for people who desperately need it. Those kids worked their tails off. We all knew just how important the work was.”
Won By One To Jamaica is a ministry located in the community of Harmons in South Central Jamaica. It works to meet the “physical and spiritual” needs of people in the community. Shamblin first got involved with the group through a friend at church. He said taking part in the service trip to Jamaica is rewarding for him in many ways.
“For me, getting to serve in this capacity is a blessing because it opens all of our eyes to a different culture, a different way of life,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to know we’re helping so many people who very much need the help. Plus, to watch these 17-year-old high school boys become men in a span of a week is a wonderful experience.”
Shamblin earned bachelor’s degrees in accounting and Spanish in 2008. He earned a master’s degree in business administration in 2010. He is currently employed by Hudl, a company that designs and sells software for coaches.