With that passion in mind, I have decided to challenge myself this summer to an exceptional opportunity serving children in Costa Rica. This July, I will travel to Costa Rica as part of the Global Leadership Adventures (GLA) program called The Initiative for Children.
GLA’s mission is to operate programs around the world, which offer educational, service, and leadership opportunities for young people in order to foster leadership development and global citizenship—both of which I feel very committed to!
This is not some glorified vacation to the jungle! After thorough research, I specifically chose GLA and The Initiative for Children because it is first and foremost a mission trip. While there is a small amount of time devoted to exploring the natural beauty of Costa Rica, the majority of our time will be spent working and serving others. I chose GLA and The Initiative for Children for a number of reasons:
- Costa Rica – Even in this relatively well-developed country, the average annual income is $6,800 and 25% of the population lives below the poverty level. We will be working in secluded communities reachable only by rutted dirt roads.
- Hands-on learning and community service – We will be volunteering alongside village residents and children, and we could be teaching English, building a playground, paving a school driveway, beautifying the library, or refurbishing la plaza.
- Conservation and sustainability – A world leader in conservation efforts, Costa Rica is the best place for learning about environmental issues, and we will be spending time at a family-operated farm learning how sugarcane is grown and milled, among other activities.
To fully take part in this experience, my parents and I have set a goal of me raising some of the funds, and I hope you might be able to help. As part of this experience, I am planning to commit time this summer to volunteering locally at home. With every gift I am able to secure, I am planning to gift my time to the Rochester community, including the Pittsford Food Cupboard, among others.
Costa Rica: The Initiative for Children