How to make a difference as a teenager is a popular topic in the national media these days. Earlier this year, Malala Yousafzai, wowed an audience of bloggers, entrepreneurs and visionaries at the Social Good Summit in New York City. “My dream is to see every girl educated, in every country,” said Malala Yousafzai. This year, at 16 she became the youngest person, and only girl, ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Committed to making the world a better place, future leaders don’t travel merely as “tourists” but forge new friendships and connections wherever they go. Traveling with open minds and hearts, they want more than snapshot recollections of their journeys. Future leaders want to see change and create change.
What sets them apart? They go to the far places. They work and give with both thought and conscience. They stay open to challenges and meet them head on. They welcome surprises and value teamwork. They look deeply into the big, bountiful world, and revel in the knowledge that there are still many, many Roads Less Traveled.
Find your place and make a difference this New Year withour 5 Favorite Service Ideas
Did you know you can get SCUBA certified when you’re as young as 10? This opens the access to one of the most important ecosystems in our country, our waters and coral reefs.
Covering 70% of our planet, the oceans are home to manatees, whales, sea turtles, dolphins, seals and hundreds of other endangered species. Unfortunately, population increase and pollution are severely damaging this delicate ecosystem.
Traveling as stewards and conservators of this rare environment, we learn underwater skills and assist conservationists in working to restore damaged coral reefs.
Work with CNN Hero Ken Nedimyer on a variety of water-based service projects relating to the protection and restoration of Staghorn coral. Since 1980, Staghorn populations have declined by up to 98% throughout their Carribean range. You can jump to their aid – learn to mount new coral to the reef and expand the nursery to accommodate future additions to the bank!
The penetrating stare of a wolf speaks not only of dominance over the pack, but also of the power and mystery. In the intensity of a single gaze, we catch a glimpse of the untamed beauty of the wild. Sadly, in the United States, selling wolves and wolf-dogs as pets is big business and hundreds of these majestic creatures are abandoned when their owners can no longer provide the space and care they need.
Live nestled alongside the wolves in their wolf sanctuary home between the red Alpenglow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the jagged peaks of the Greenhorn Wilderness. Working deep inside the pens, you can assist the staff hands-on in the care and feeding of the 40 resident wolves, documentation and observation of wolf behavior and lend your hands to on site construction projects all while helping preserve an endangered species.
At the crossroads of ecology and gastronomy stands Italy. Opposed to the standardization of taste and culture, the power of industrial agriculture, the people of Italy believe and live with the concept of neo-gastronomy – the connections between plate, planet, people and culture.
Each day rise and help the owners of the land care for their fruits, vegetables, and animals. Seasonal cooking, green methods of gardening, sustainable food products, slow food, local suppliers and purveyors are all methods and concepts that have been passed down over the generations and are still practiced today. Learn regional techniques, ingredients, and family recipes that have been maintained over centuries, and put on aprons, gather around the old farmhouse table, get wrist-deep in pasta dough and learn Italian cooking from the source. Hunt for truffles with the farm’s specially trained dogs. Work on the farm educates and will motivate you to take an active interest and role in the future of food in our own lives and the world.
Together with others you will work to create an environment where you can share your strengths and weaknesses, learn from your successes and failures – all for the common good. Inspire one another as leaders and examine fundamental assumptions about who you are individually and collectively as you meet the challenges of the 21st century. Being an effective leader requires knowledge of group dynamics, critical thinking and technical skills. As universities, semester abroad programs, corporations and non-profit organizations around the world seek individuals with experience in social and environmental service initiatives, learning about service leadership offers the foundation, medical certification, skills and confidence. Trained in practical skills, case studies, and hands-on scenarios that challenge decision making abilities, you have the tools to make critical choices in life. Advanced certifications are available in CPR, CPR, First Aid, Wilderness First Responder and curriculum covers service, sustainability, and community building. Educated in the art of safe travel you will also be prepared to meet the demands of study abroad programs. Upon completion, you will be equipped to lead effectively and respond to most any situation you may find yourself in–anywhere in the world
Make a difference. Go where help is wanted and where both the people and place can benefit from your presence. Mastering a language while being of service to others allows us to expand our horizons, and at the same time, learn more about yourself and others. Practicing conversational skills in “real life” situations, you will gain confidence while breaking down barriers and grow as a global citizen. You will have the opportunity to contribute to the world through service in new and meaningful ways fostering a sense of shared humanity.
In the secluded Au Hwa Atayal Village you will be welcomed to teach English to the community of students. As school ends each day, you are invited to share in community feasts, singing, crafts, and traditional dancing. Welcomed by families you can try your hand at cooking, fishing, and learning the ancient Atayal traditions. Living and working in this remote community, you’ll get a hands-on sense of aboriginal Taiwanese life. With open eyes and open minds you will bring home something of lasting value – something you won’t have to declare at customs.
Make a commitment to yourself, to others and to your ability to shape the future. Start 2014 New Year by making a difference in the world.
What’s your resolution?