Term alias: 


Author: Anonymous

Tags: North America, USA, Volunteering

Why College? ˜Cause I Would Die as a Roofer"

Honorable Mention 2007 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship

It's the middle of a hot summer's day. Ninety-six on the ground, one hundred-fifteen on the roof.

Author: Natalie Llamas

Tags: Africa, Quarter Finalist, Volunteering

How Oleleshwa and Kisaruni Changed My Life

On July 20, 2015, 17 American, Canadian, Ecuadorian, and Irish students departed from Washington DC with imaginations running wild over what they would experience in the Maasai Mara region in Kenya after over 20 hours of plane and bus rides. When my group reached our final destination of our camp in the backyard of a primary school we were amazed by the natural beauty surrounding us. Over the next three weeks we helped construct a post surgical unit for the local health clinic, go on a water walk with the Mamas, and even go on a safari spotting elephants, giraffes, and lions.

Author: Emmett Galles

Tags: Europe, Semi Finalist, Volunteering

The Drink of the Forest

I can still remember my reaction when I saw the farm for the first time. I looked out of the car window and saw the small house that was situated among the fields and trees of Northern Latvia, almost as if it were Dorothy's house dropped into Oz. It took me a while to open up to the country of Latvia, the culture shock was almost too much for me to handle. When I gave the country a chance, I was amazed with what I saw.

Author: Haley Eblin

Tags: Europe, Volunteering, Winner

The Universal Language: Ice Cream Cones and Crayola Crayons

My eyes grew sleepy as winding hills consumed my view, sloping gently into the background with no sign of relapse. I watched as sunflowers danced in the wind and wildflowers mingled haphazardly; the colors of a thousand sunsets in one field. I was awoken from my trance with a jolt as the driver slammed on the break. There was a moment of shared laughter as we waited for hundreds of sheep to cross the broken pavement. As the last animal crossed, the driver punched the gas and the van raced forward on the A1 motorway. 

Author: Amanda Milley

Tags: Africa, Quarter Finalist, Volunteering

Fistula Repair in Ethiopia

While working at my uncle’s diagnostic clinic, I was invited to watch four surgeries at the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Fistula Hospital. I was nervous and excited to be in such an important place! Even Oprah has a building on the grounds! Stepping into blue scrubs, a blue cap, and blue booties, I fit right into the room of blue-clad people. Two surgeons worked at the same time snipping, cauterizing, and eventually stitching tissue. Nurses kept a stream of cotton gauze flowing to clear the way for the surgeon’s precise movements. I sat next to a surgeon, marveling at the work in front of me.

Author: jammers256

Tags: Quarter Finalist, South America, Volunteering

A Trip To Ecuador: Finding Beauty in More Than One Form

Sitting there, looking out the window, I was in awe at the beauty that the world had to offer. I was used to the dull brown desert of Las Vegas, where you’d be lucky to find a single patch of green in your entire neighborhood, yet before me a sea of clouds stretched out in all directions, dotted with spots of vibrant green where the lush, forested hills peaked above the clouds. It was beauty beyond anything I had ever seen.

Author: Emma Cerovich

Tags: Asia, Finalist, India, Volunteering

My Adventure in India

Travelling is a mentality.  Am I willing to start the adventure? Vulnerable enough to step out the door to learn more about others, and, by application, myself?  Not a tourist, but someone on the journey to understand, be challenged, grow and connect with others of different backgrounds. I had the opportunity to embrace this adventure almost ten months ago when I received an unexpected offer; with one phone call, I jumped in headfirst and began to prepare for a life-changing trip to India. Passport. Visa.

Author: writtenbyshails

Tags: Asia, India, Quarter Finalist, Volunteering

The Rising Sun of India

The splash of vibrant fuchsia mixed in with a tinge of twinkling turquoise and a glimmer of iridescent crimson backdropped with lofty mountains was enough to complete my mental photograph of the incredible beauty that is Pune, India. As I futilely attempted to capture this elusive wonder with a camera, I felt a slight tap on my shoulder but when I spun around to see the finger’s owner, my eyes found no one. Again, a tap came but this time, I reached out to grab the perpetrator’s spindly wrist.

Author: L Malmstrom

Tags: Central America, Quarter Finalist, Volunteering

A Change in Me

My favorite Broadway musical is Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." After returning home from being held as the Beast's captive, Belle sings "For now I love the world I see -- no change of heart, a change in me."

Author: Therese

Tags: Central America, Quarter Finalist, Volunteering

A New World in Guatemala

          My head pressed on cool glass that vibrated my brain within my skull. I took a sip of my water, struggling to avoid biting my tongue as the jolting of the bus bounced me up and down. A girl sat next to me—Noelle, I believe. I didn’t know her; she was from Alter High School, I from Seton. But none of that was important to me. I simply stared out the window, gorging myself on the sights and sounds, wanting to make the most of the experience that I had saved up for over the course of three long years.