Volunteering

  • I spent three weeks in León, Nicaragua this summer, and almost every day, Nicaragua surprised me. My experience in León couldn’t have been more different than my life in the United States, and it showed me life as I’d never seen it before.FINALIST 2015 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIPNicaragua...

  • "Rivers and Roads" plays out loud on a big yellow school bus. I woke up that morning on a gym floor with 26 other teens from all over Kentucky. Now we are headed to Arc of Alabama to garden and clean and help out in anyway we can, but yesterday we worked at Books for Africa, Atlanta, and tomorrow…...

  • The scene that lies before my eyes could best be described as hell on earth. As I walk down the school bus stairs and onto the dusty Guatemalan soil, I can’t take my eyes off what is before me. I have seen places like this, but only in commercials that make me want to reach for the remote, or in...

  • Ding! The seatbelt light clicks off, and I quickly unbuckle myself while craning my neck to look out the window. We finally made it. Ten months of anxious preparation leading up to this moment, I grab my red carryon bag from my overhead compartment as fast as I can, and step out onto the dry land...

  • During the summer of 2015, I was selected to participate in Loop Abroad, which is a program that enables students to work with endangered elephants and provide veterinary care for the elephants, Bengal tigers, and abandoned dogs and cats.  The program is based in Thailand.  At first, my parents and...

  • Sweat dripped down my temples as I sat perched on the off-balance wooden chair. The street behind me bustled with activity and the foreign language chattered in the background. I glanced around the porch, seeing my mother and three other people from our mission group, along with Gido, the man who...

  • My time in Cambodia had brought me many challenges. I had a running fever with no access to trustworthy medical care, I was fumbling with cultural differences and customs, and we worked long days teaching English in schools that lacked the blessing of air conditioning. Yet despite numerous...

  • Let me back up a little. I come from a family that travels. Sometimes we travel for fun, sometimes for adventure, and sometimes for cultural experiences. About every other year, we travel for missions or service projects. We have gone on medical missions in India, Jamaica, and Peru. My brother and...

  • I was hesitant to go and had no idea what to expect, but ever since I have been back home, I am eager to return to the place that flipped my perspective about life.  QUARTER-FINALIST 2015 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIPIn June 2015, I journeyed to the foreign, poverty-stricken nation of Kenya...

  • Before, I had never left my home. I’ve flown across the seas in my dreams, traversed the highest mountains between classes, but one day, I promised myself that I would travel. Across the nation... yes, even across the globe. Then it happened. We landed in Moscow after 20 hours of travelling non-...

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