HOURS PLEDGED: 10
Please help send six outstanding Philadelphia public school students to travel abroad in Costa Rica during the summer of 2014. These students have not only excelled in Spanish class but they have also dedicated their time after school, on weekends and on holidays to giving back to their community without regard to their own needs. These students spend their free time doing good deeds. They clean up the neighborhood, paint parks, and feed the hungry. No matter what the job entails, such as "bathroom duty"or cleaning up "road kill"you can count on our devoted students to take care of business. We have collected money and canned goods to support Philabundance after hurricane sandy struck. We provided Thanksgiving dinners for 11 families that were in need the day before and then volunteered 6 hours of our time to feed the hungry in Kensington instead of spending time with our own families on this holiday. We thought it was more important that these people feel appreciated and cared for, and not be alone, so we were there for them, and listened to their stories and needs. We most recently provided Christmas toys for 20 families in a neighboring elementary school, and collected gifts for "Toys for Tots". My students have learned that it is truly better to give than to receive.
These students are just as enthused in Spanish class. Learning about different cultures has made them curious about life outside of Philadelphia. We have been offered a chance to travel to Costa Rica for one week through EF Educational tours. The cost is $2000 per student. There is no way that any of them can afford that kind of money. Research has shown that students who experience traveling abroad learn to view the world in new and enlightened ways. They become more tolerant of others regardless of their differences. I believe that the early exposure of high school students to cultural experiences in other countries will inspire them to reach their fullest potentials, will motivate them to become lifelong learners, will help them to become major contributors in their communities, and will open their eyes to a world of possibilities.
While in the foreign country they will explore the rainforest, plant a tree, see an active volcano, ride horses, eat the typical foods and experience the culture and language firsthand. My inner-city students can hardly imagine how incredible these experiences will be. Most of these teens have never been outside of Philadelphia, much less on an airplane going to another country. Their hard work in class and their selfless giving to others outside of class make them perfect recipients of this incredible opportunity. We will be doing many fundraisers but I know that we will need some help from others for this to actually become a reality and not just remain a dream. Please help my students attain this worthwhile experience and they will continue to "pay it forward" as they become successful adults.