Gap Year Dreams

My name is Maggie Jones and I just graduation from Oyster River High School in Durham New Hampshire. Next year I am taking time off from school to volunteer in Lima, Peru! I will arrive in Lima on August 30th and will be there until December 22nd. During my time in Peru I will be working in an orphanage and teaching English. The cost of my time in Peru are listed below.

IVHQ Fees (Registaion and Program Cost): $1869
Round-trip Air Flights + Flight Insurance: $809
Travel and Health Insurance: $286
Extra Costs of Water, Transportation, and School Supplies:$1000
Required Spanish Lessons (16 hours): $160
Total: $4124

The registration fee goes to 24/7 support from the IVHQ staff, program marketing costs, the information pack, administration costs, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers. The IVHQ program cost will go to the local families that provide food, transportation, housing, support, and orientation for all volunteers; it also covers volunteer airport pick up and program supervision.

As stated before, I have registered for two programs, teaching English and orphanage work. I will design my schedule once I arrive in Lima to include both of these programs per week along with my required Spanish lessons. The teaching placements include working in community, public and orphanage schools. There are four different orphanage placements that house children that have faced a combination of hardships such as living on the street, child labor, prostitution, abandonment, and physical and sexual abuse in their homes. The orphanages also house the elderly, children with special needs, and there is an orphanage specifically used as a shelter for girls that have been physically or sexually abused or forced into prostitution.

I want to take next year to give back. I recognize that I have been blessed to receive an outstanding education, to live in such a beautiful place, and to have such incredible support systems in my life. I know that my desire to spark change will not end when I fly home after my time away. I will bring back my volunteer experience to share with people in the U.S. I am going to speak at high schools about the gap year opportunities and rewards that are available for students. I will be able to use my time abroad to contribute to success in college and to improve myself as a human being. I am looking forward to making a difference in the developing world.

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Maggie Jones 
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