Thailand Volunteer: Alexis Barnes

All extra donations will go into funds for Chiang Mai's Children's Home, English classes in Thailand, and/or another volunteering project.
 
Love Volunteers Website
About Love Volunteers


About the Traveler:

I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason.  Throughout my life, I have seen many struggles and quiet a few successes.  The struggles I’ve faced have made the successes a greater worth and, for that, I am appreciative of them.  I’ve learned the value of family and what it means from the obstacles of a “broken family.”  My perception of what should be valued in life evolved from poverty, abuse, and a few good souls.  I am successful because of the positive things that came from the negatives. 

I had lived with my mother, a step father, and my half siblings up until the end of sixth grade.  My biological father left the picture completely when I was only ten.  My step father was a marvelous man but he and my mother were divorced by the end of 2006.  This left me and my mother homeless the summer of 2007.  She was pregnant with another man’s child, her seventh.  We found shelter in the basement of the house of a long time friend.  This lasted most of the summer, until my mother’s boyfriend’s violence went too far and we found ourselves homeless again the night before my twelfth birthday.  My step father let me stay with him until she found somewhere to go. 

By the time school began my older sister, my pregnant mother, her boyfriend, his mother, and I moved into a small three bedroom apartment on Long Island.  My mother worked two jobs but had habits that made money disappear like magic.  Our refrigerator might as well have never been plugged in because it’s emptiness was a waste of electricity.  My grumbling stomach lead me to church basements for dinner, and a fast food chain were my mother worked and would slip me a small salad or fries.  A constant hunger wasn’t the worst that closed doors hid away.  My mother’s boyfriend was a monster, violent and short-tempered.  He was always high and anything could set him off into a rage directed towards my mother or myself.  A door was broken using my body and his foot, the wall was imprinted with my body in fetal position, and I’ve been a pinball off the walls and mirror in the bathroom.  His rage has even go so far as to hospitalize my mother.  He was in and out of jail for various reasons and that was where he resided when we were finally evicted. 

During this time period my focus was on survival and taking care of my neglected baby brother.  It wasn’t until after that I had realized and appreciated all the people who had helped me along the way.  I would walk approximately two miles to dance everyday without any money to pay for lessons.  I was able to continue dancing because of the generosity and care of the studio’s director and owner.  The time I spent there saved me from time spent in a horror house and provided me with a view of better things the world had to offer.  After my mother was hospitalized, an Aunt and her family had taken me in.  The way they cared for me, each other, and valued greater things in life was a large influence on how I pictured what I wanted my future to look like when I escaped the horrors of the present.  After the eviction my step father took me back in, gave me a sense of security, and adopted me as one of his own.  I fell into a depression that affected my school performance and choice of scene.  He helped me through it all, along with my dance studio’s director.  They helped me come to realize the value of life. 

I will be graduating May 2015 with an Associates degree in Business and Administration.  My classes require more work because I’m an honors program student but I’ve managed to obtain a cumulative 4.0 grade point average and a dean’s list letter at the end of each semester.  I’ve been recognized by two honor societies, Phi Theta Kapa and Alpha Beta Gamma, both of which I have been inducted into.  Class isn’t the endpoint of my efforts.  The Business and Accounting club has allowed me the opportunity to work my way up to presidency where my mind has to be open and I have to lead while being a team player.  I’ve organized guest speakers, fundraisers, and trips such as into the city and to Washington D.C.  I’m also a senator of the Student Government Association, sit as chair on the Promotions and Awareness commission, a student trustee, and am a member of the food service committee.  My extracurricular activity is more than just club participation.  I’m an orientation leader, a student worker, and a member of my schools dance team.  All three activities have required leadership, teamwork, and dedication.

I’ve come to appreciate life and all of it’s ups and downs with no regrets.  I want to make a difference in the world and help people as I have been helped.  Realizing there are good people in the world gives one hope, and I would like to play a role in that hope.  Becoming a volunteer is something I’ve dreamed of but never actually saw as a reality.  However, my dream is on it’s way to reality and I’m ready to make the difference I know I can make.

About Teaching English in Schools:

"Our teaching volunteers have the choice of placements in Chiang Mai which is famous as Thailand's Northern retreat. The schools are always thrilled at the opportunity to welcome native English speakers. Regardless of whether you have a teaching background, your presence alone gives students and faculty the chance to practise their English skills as they would in the real world.The role of a teaching English volunteer can be varied as it takes into account the needs of the school, the time of year, as well as the volunteers comfort level.

On day one each volunteer will be paired with a Thai teacher. They can simply help out with daily lessons or if they have the confidence and the drive to do their own lesson planning, they can lead their own class. The students love it, and it gives Thai teachers the chance to catch up on projects and paperwork.Please note, all volunteers who will be working directly with children must file a certified police background check before their start date." - Love Volunteers

Estimated Trip Expenses (USD):

16 Week Program Fee:  2165
Registration Fee:  235

Travel Insurance:  338
Flight Costs:  2000
Passport Cost:  100
Visa Cost:  700
Vaccinations/Medical:  1000
Emergencies: 1000
  • Mary LoPresti 
    • $250 
    • 70 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $250 
    • 70 mos
  • Linda Barnes 
    • $100 
    • 70 mos
  • Paul Barnes 
    • $100 
    • 70 mos
  • Alice & Christian Hempstead 
    • $200 
    • 70 mos
See all

Organizer

Alexis Morgan Barnes 
Organizer
Nesconset, NY
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