One day in particular I worked at Los Martincitos, an elderly center in the shantytown of Villa El Salvador. My educational path offered me security from an early forced marriage, and I am dedicated to providing this opportunity to other young girls through my home region. All while you change the lives of others for the better. I was fortunate to have parents who believed in the value of education, and attended a Technical School to further my talents in electronics. Ultimately, we are changing the way volunteering is done, making it a safe, exciting adventure of a lifetime. Each day, I witness the connection between volunteers and communities through true outreach and connection, and could not imagine doing anything else.
You're experiencing another culture like never before and really getting to know its people. Maybe even change how you live your life. Guatemala, Central America´s largest economy, has the highest level of economic inequality in Central America. Very close to home, my mother is also illiterate; and I have seen the impacts of illiteracy on early mortality rates, high fecundity, malnutrition, and high infant mortality. When I volunteer abroad, I'm helping my community - a community of global citizens and fellow humans.
I am a proud graduate of the University of Southern California where I earned degrees in International Relations and Business Administration. When a child is born into poverty, she has little control over her health, her education, and her quality of life. Although I contributed to this important project, I felt that I gained so much more in return. Our Mission is to operate volunteer programs around the world in partnership with sustainable community initiatives, bringing people together to work side-by-side while sharing perspectives and fostering cultural understanding. Credentials Lawrence University in Wisconsin English Literature Technological Institute of Costa Rica Business Administration Universidad Nacional i Heredia, Costa Rica M. At age 20, I came out as a gay man and was the youngest among the nine founders of the first gay movement in my country in 1984. Born in Bangkok, I was taught from a young age to create a life that benefitted those that were less fortunate.
Service and education are the greatest tools you can offer for a global mindset and to be of service to others. This experience opened my eyes to the injustice and inequality that impacts the life of a child each day, as well as their future opportunities. But our world is getting smaller and local problems are now becoming global concerns. In 1995, at the age of 28, I visited a friend that was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya. Growing up in small town in Ghana with my grandparents, I have seen the vulnerability that comes from being raised in poverty and not having opportunities for education. As a girl I was encouraged to study at school and university, as a woman I was able to make my own choices about work and marriage, and quite simply I had the gift of freedom and choice. My first experience as an international volunteer began in Costa Rica, where I spent 12 weeks deeply connecting with a new home and culture.
I believe passionately that when people come together across cultures to work side-by-side we build bridges of understanding that are powerful and essential to a building a safe and healthy future for all people. Through my international experiences however, I have seen the disparity that exists in offering this healthy start in life to so many children. I grew up in rural Costa Rica, always grabbing for any educational opportunities and thankful to people, sometimes unknown, who trusted me and offered me a hand to grow. I may not have changed the world in my month abroad, but I have these kids a head start at learning the basics, and gave one very overworked teacher a bit more relief in focusing on her older students. Currently, I'm most enthusiastic about the impact Cross-Cultural Solutions is making as we focus our energy around children's health and education.
The organization is a leader in the international volunteer field, sending thousands of volunteers overseas every year. I grew up with very little opportunities so I know firsthand how difficult it is to have access to means to change your life. This experience taught me compassion for those trying to improve their situation against all odds; it also filled me with outrage about how callous our lives in the city were in the face of poverty and inequality. I believe that every child should receive the essential emotional, physical, and educational support they need during their formative years. Cross Cultural Solutions Employee Reviews. I am the first generation in my family to escape extreme poverty. I was three years old, and I had no idea at the time or for many years after, how in that one moment my life and my world had been turned upside down.
The warmth and tenacity of the Peruvian people in the face of significant economic and social struggles opened my eyes and my heart, and I found my calling in working with these global communities. My main motivation to be involved in development work is to contribute to the fight against inequality and injustice in Peru, which are reflected in racism, homophobia, and lack of access to basic services and dignity for all Peruvians. Education took me across Thailand and to the U. The world is a fascinating place with an incredible capacity for compassion, kindness, and empathy. I quickly realized in my classroom that these students were eager to learn, but needed a bit more support in an over-crowded classroom. I want to give back to the amazing global community who contributed to my development as a child. When I traveled on my first international volunteer experience in Ghana, I had no idea how I could help as a college student with no teaching experience.
The experience inspired me to found Cross-Cultural Solutions so that others could have the opportunity to contribute to global development and to expand their horizons at the same time. By taking advantage of any educational opportunity offered to me, I earned a degree in Accounting and Social Work. I fight for the education of vulnerable women, children, and those with developmental disabilities to combat illiteracy and increase opportunities to continue formal schooling. Today, with Cross-Cultural Solutions, I am able to realize my goal to create a community of people from around the world to make a difference in the education and health of those most vulnerable in Thailand. My wife, baby daughter and I currently reside in Seattle where I've given back locally as an affiliate faculty member at the University of Washington at Bothell, teaching classes in social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management.
That experience not only awakened a fascination with language and culture but a deep questioning of why so many are born into poverty and how we can help break the cycle. Today, I work to build relationships of trust and understanding and to fight for the equal rights and dignity of all. I know how education can change a life course, as it has changed mine. Join TeenLife TeenLife student, parent and educator members are the first to learn of new developments in the world of experiential learning as well as receive special offers on programs and services that are essential for teen success. A volunteer trip abroad with Cross-Cultural Solutions will change you.