My name is Helene Burks, and I am the extremely lucky teacher at El Cerrito High School who gets to accompany students on the trip of a lifetime this summer. We will be travelling to different cities
in Nicaragua and focusing on social justice issues, raising our global awareness, and developing leadership among the youth
. Funds raised from this site will go toward supporting this 3 week trip for 14 students from ECHS. While on the trip, students will take part in a variety of activities including: teaching English lessons, creating a Community Action Project with a local agency, working alongside someone in a local industry, sight-seeing, living on a dollar a day, and hearing from various speakers on topics including poverty, commerce, government, education, and history (sample itinerary for the trip found here ).
As for myself, I could not be more excited for this opportunity for 3 main reasons- which I believe will also excite you in partnering with us.
1. The Need- The need for globally aware citizens has never been greater. As a science teacher, I take what opportunities I can to help students adjust their framework and perspective by opening their eyes to realities across the globe. As we become more interconnected, our ability to have a global impact grows. Personally, I have found teenagers to have a strong sense of both justice and empathy, and I am excited to see them have this experience during this formative time in life.
2. The Program- I am not ashamed to say that I teared up during my first training with Global Glimpse. The heart and mission of this organization are very much aligned with my own and it permeates through their entire structure. This organization truly focuses on doing things with, rather than simply for, the people in the various cities. They are brought in as experts to give lectures and the trip will be led by myself along with a leader living in the particular city (for my trip, the city is Esteli). I have also never seen an organization that makes it possible for students from a variety of backgrounds to attend. Each student at our school receives a scholarship and then individuals are awarded additional scholarship based on financial need. Some of our students are able to go on this trip for a total of $500 (!!! airfare included).
3. The Students- Each of the 14 students going on this trip have shown themselves to be leaders, with some being at a point in life where they need a little push and opportunity to open up more to this potential. These students are involved in a variety of activities- basketball, martial arts, theater, spoken word, football, rock climbing, service organizations, cultural organizations, faith groups, etc. Beyond all that they do in and outside of the classroom, these students all share a deep passion for others, for justice, and for change in their own communities. Working with these students has already brought me a great deal of encouragement and motivation, and I cannot wait to see how they grow and bring back what they learn this summer to our own community next year!
If you have any questions or would like to partner in other ways, please get in touch!
Biology/Environmental Science Teacher
El Cerrito High School