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We Did It!

Dear EYTT Supporters,

We did it!

In only 10 days, (June 20 to July 2) Empowering Youth Through Travel students will board a seven hour flight and begin their journey of a lifetime to Uvita, Costa Rica. Upon landing at San Jose, Juan Santamaria airport in Costa Rica, students will travel another three hours down to the small community of Uvita, located on the southern Pacific coast of the country. On arrival, students will meet their host families and get acquainted with the men, women, and children which whom they will be staying with for the next 12 days.

For one of our student’s, Dushun, this will be the first time he steps on a plane let alone outside of the country. Can you imagine what this experience will be like for him? Dushun lives in Chicago’s Austin community and will go from our concrete city streets to Uvita’s lush land, surrounded by the rainforest.

What will this experience be like for Yael, a soft spoken young lady from Cicero, IL, who is passionate about nature, yet has never left the country or strayed far from her close knit family? She will be venturing off to an unknown part of the world, stay with a family she’s never met, and see things she has only read about in books.

And for Chris, a quiet, young man of choice words who’s world currently revolves around soccer. He will soon have to step outside of his comfort zone by introducing and immersing himself into a lively, foreign community.

How will these experiences change our student’s lives in the immediate and long term future? Who’s lives will our student’s change as a result of their volunteer travel experience? We will soon be able to answer these questions and many more.

During their time in Costa Rica, students will participate in a range of activities which include:

1. A youth cultural exchange and service project with students at Flor de Bahia school, the local school in the Uvita community.

2. Visit the Marino Ballena National Park, assist in a beach clean up, learn its history, economic and social importance, along with how it is managed and maintained.

3. Explore the rainforest! Students will take a full day tour of the Corcovado National Park.

4. Learn about sustainable tourism, visit a local co-op hotel, and partake in a canopy tour.

5. Delve more into co-operatives and understand community agriculture by taking a trip to visit the produce market, followed by a rural coffee tour. Coffee production has played a huge role in Costa Rica’s history and is still very significant to their economy.

These experiences and many more will provide one of the greatest hands-on learning opportunities our students and their families could ask for. This could not have happened without the generous support of individuals who have attended EYTT events or donated to our cause. As a baby organization which recently turned two, our pilot launch will be successfully completed by August 2012. Through 100% grassroots fundraising efforts, we have paid the full cost of our students overseas travel expenses, provided them with a quality educational program before and after embarking on their journey abroad. YOU, the PEOPLE, have helped us make this happen and for that we are extremely grateful. Without this program, our students may have inevitably spent another summer at home. Now, they will discover, explore, learn, and understand a part of the world they never knew existed.

Each staff member involved in our program has generously volunteered their time. This means that every dollar we have received went directly to the cause. Major sacrifices were made to get us to this point. To support our efforts, you may visit EYTT’s website at www.eytt.org and click on the PayPal link at the top of the page. Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to fund our students travel expenses. Upon giving, you will receive a ‘Thank You’ letter via email to be used for tax exemption purposes. Please remember, no gift is too small.

OR, if you do not have the funds to donate, we are also in need of in-kind donations. Do you have anything travel related that you’d like to donate to one of our students? A camera you don’t use anymore, a carry on suite case, or travel back pack? Maybe a few travel size containers for lotion, shampoo, etc…? Please contact Jessica@eytt.org if you would like to donate any travel items.

THANK YOU for believing in us! To keep up-to-date with pictures and video from our students travel experience in Uvita, please subscribe to our blog, like us on Facebook, and/or follow us on Twitter!

“Empowering Youth Through Travel is a Chicago based 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to empower urban teens of color from disadvantaged backgrounds, through hands-on learning of current, worldly issues. As we seek to develop global leaders equipped with the skills to enact positive change at home and abroad.”
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EYTT to Host First Annual Citizens Of The World Fundraiser May 11, 2012

 Get your tickets now!

Empowering Youth Through Travel (EYTT), a Chicago non-profit organization providing inner-city teens from disadvantaged communities with educational resources and overseas travel opportunities, will host its first annual Citizens of the World fundraiser, Friday, May 11, 2012 at Tantrik (800 W. Superior) in Chicago, IL. Doors open at 7pm.

The event’s MCs are J Niice, B96 Radio Morning Show personality, and Dasha Arias, Chicago Bulls Luvabull. This year’s goal is to raise $10,000 with 100% percent of the proceeds going towards the organization and travel expenses for EYTT participants traveling to Uvita, Costa Rica in June, 2012. Students from Holy Trinity high school in Chicago’s Wicker Park community, ranging in age from 16 to 17 years old, will study sustainable development and work on a local conservation project with the Uvita community.

Citizens of the World guests will enjoy a three-hour cocktail reception, tasty appetizers and delicious mini-cupcakes provided by our food sponsors, Amazing Edibles, Café Bolero, Jaimitos Burritos, Mello’s Carry Out, and The Yoho Bakery, along with live music and dance performances. Latin jazz vocalist, Natalie Oliveri, who recently opened for Estelle and Luke James at the BET Music Matters show aired in February, will perform acoustic soul with guitarist, Josh Rosen. Axé Capoeira Chicago, an international Afro-Brazilian martial arts group will engage in a traditional Capoeira Roda (pronounced HOH-dah), where Capoeirista’s play a martial arts game disguised in a dance. Urban Vibe, a Latin dance company will perform sexy salsa, followed by one of Chicago’s most popular hip-hop dance troupes, Chicago Onyx Dance Alliance (CODA), closing the night with a set featuring break dancing, foot-working and popping and locking moves sure to have guests ready to hit the dance floor.

Jessica Mann, EYTT founder and Executive Director explains what this event means for her and all of those involved with the organization. “This event is a culmination of what we have accomplished collectively in the past year. EYTT is an organization ran solely by committed volunteers and we take pride in that. Without our volunteers and supporters, EYTT would not be where it is today.”

“As ‘Citizens of the World,’ we have shown what can be done when people come together and work collectively towards a common goal. Our program is a testament to that, and we are thrilled to be able to celebrate this exciting time with our guests at the Citizens of the World fundraiser.”

To learn more about ticket and sponsorship information for the Empowering Youth Through Travel, Citizens of the World fundraiser, please visit www.eytt.org/events.html.

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About Empowering Youth Through Travel

Empowering Youth Through Travel is a Chicago based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to empowering inner-city youth through hands-on learning of current issues and developing them as global leaders equipped with the skills to enact positive change at home and abroad. Participants chosen for the program attend a six-month, Saturday program in Chicago where they learn in depth about EYTT’s global theme, sustainability, through in-class research, field trips, and volunteer opportunities. Self-discovery and individual growth continues overseas in Uvita, Costa Rica as students explore the country hands-on by studying sustainable development and volunteering on a local conservation project within the Uvita community.

Jessica.Mann@eytt.org

SOURCE – Empowering Youth Through Travel, NFP
http://www.eytt.org

Meet EYTT Student Ambassador Chris Estrada

This year serves as the pilot launch for the Empowering Youth Through Travel (EYTT) program. As we move full speed ahead with the Supplemental Learning Experience (SLE), our students are beginning to really understand the significance of their involvement. With only three students selected to participate this year, it has been a beneficial experience for all of us. Among the many benefits, EYTT has the opportunity to tailor a curriculum specific to our participants needs. We also receive great feedback from students and their families on ways to improve our program. Students are given individual attention in an educational setting, along with the opportunity to have an inside view of the start-up phase of a social entrepreneurial venture! Now is your chance to meet one of EYTT’s Student Ambassador’s, Christopher Estrada.

Christopher Estrada is a sophomore at Holy Trinity High School. He was raised in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood as one of three siblings. Chris’s family is very close and supportive of his endeavors – the top one being, going to college and becoming a first-generation college graduate. Upon first meeting Chris he appears to be the quiet, shy type. Yet, when the topic of soccer comes up which is his favorite sport, he has much more of an interest in talking. This is no surprise considering Chris has played the sport since he was seven years old. Through soccer Chris had the opportunity to travel to Manchester and London, England for a tournament. Traveling abroad to a land different from his own allowed Chris to understand the significance of stepping outside of your box. When Chris learned about Empowering Youth Through Travel, he jumped at the opportunity to apply for yet another chance to see the world.

Chris is a dedicated student and looks forward to learning about the topic of sustainability, a subject area he never gave much thought to prior to EYTT. He is excited to discover more about himself through the program, and how this experience will affect his perspective on life. Some of Chris’s interests outside of soccer are history, creative writing, journalism, dogs (he has three), and always being up for trying new things — especially in Costa Rica!

Below you will find Chris’s blog account of the students recent SLE day at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum:

“Knowing that I was about to visit the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum was a thrill. I have never been to that museum but from what I’ve heard from my friends, it was a really fun museum to discover and to learn new things. When I finally entered the museum I was astounded at how huge it was from the inside. I really liked how the museum encourages people to recycle and save energy. The first exhibit I entered was amazing. In the exhibit I learned about how the river works and how it is used. We literally played with water to learn and saw examples of irrigation and river levies.”

“After that exhibit we went to an exhibit that showed how in the late 1800s, Chicago reversed the flow of the Chicago river. It was impressive that the flow of the river would forever change the city and the surrounding landscape. It’s amazing to know that it is possible to change the flow of a river. I wonder how Chicago would be if the Chicago river was flowing the other way? Would it affect the city, our environment, or even other cities within the United States?”

“After that, we entered into the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven which had over 75 species of butterflies from all over the world. There were butterflies flying all around us! It was a really nice experience for me to visit the Peggy Notbeart Nature Museum. Now it’s one of my favorite museums and I would love to visit again.”

Become followers of our blog today and keep up with the growth of our program. Follow our students as they chronicle their experiences by blogging here on our site. Hear first accounts of what they are learning on an individual, group, and community level as they prepare to engage in this life changing and transformational opportunity.

www.eytt.org

“Like” us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

“Empowering Youth Through Travel is a Chicago based 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to empower urban teens of color from disadvantaged backgrounds, through hands-on learning of current, worldly issues. As we seek to develop global leaders equipped with the skills to enact positive change at home and abroad.”

EYTT: Chicago Partner of the #PassportPartyProject, Sponsored by Expedia.com

If you haven’t already heard the exciting news, Empowering Youth Through Travel, NFP will be the Chicago partner organization for the national #PassportPartyProject, sponsored by Expedia.com. You can check out Expedia’s press release here for more information.

This weekend EYTT received a phone call from Tracey Friley, founder of the blog OneBrownGirl.com, OBG Adventure Camps, and spearhead of the philanthropic project the #PassportPartyProject. Tracey extended the opportunity for EYTT to be the host Chicago organization for the #PassportPartyProject, which makes its way to our city, September 2012. We are ecstatic to be part of such a forward movement which aligns perfectly with our mission. This is a great cause, one that people should be aware of and support! EYTT has been given creative freedom with how these young girls are selected, and will make the final decision on those chosen by May 1, 2012.

The #PassportPartyProject obtained official sponsorship from Expedia.com late last week which will provide ten (10) girls from ten (10) cities with their first passport, in total giving 100 girls passports around the US. After the 100 girls have received their passports, Expedia.com will hold a contest picking six (6) of those girls and send them on a free trip to an international destination.

“This is the first-year pilot run of EYTT’s program and it has taken sacrifice and dedication to propel the organization forward. As founder and Executive Director, I am honored and thrilled to have EYTT take part in this powerful movement. Our collaboration with the #PassportPartyProject and Expedia.com is an amazing opportunity to help build awareness of the impact EYTT will have on Chicago’s youth. Overseas travel has long been a privilege among the economically advantaged. Yet, with the work of EYTT, movements such as the #PassportPartyProject, and corporations like Expedia.com to sponsor these efforts, we can begin leveling the playing field and expose our youth to this vast world outside of their city block.”

Become followers of EYTT’s blog and keep up with the continued growth of our program! Help us provide unique and transformational opportunities for our youth to explore the world. Make a tax-deductible donation today!

www.eytt.org

“Like” us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

“Empowering Youth Through Travel is a Chicago based 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to empower urban teens of color from disadvantaged backgrounds, through hands-on learning of current, worldly issues. We seek to develop global leaders equipped with the skills to enact positive change at home and abroad.”

Meet EYTT Student Ambassador Dushun Burrell

This year serves as the pilot launch for the Empowering Youth Through Travel (EYTT) program. As we move full speed ahead with the Supplemental Learning Experience (SLE), our students are beginning to really understand the significance of their involvement. With only three students selected to participate this year, it has been a mutually beneficial experience. Among the many benefits, EYTT has the opportunity to tailor a curriculum specific to our participants needs. We also receive great feedback from students and their families on ways to enhance our program. Students are given individual attention in an educational setting, along with the opportunity to have an inside view of the start-up phase of a social entrepreneurial venture! Now is your chance to meet one of EYTT’s Student Ambassadors, Dushun Burrell.

Dushun is a sophomore at Holy Trinity High School and is a kindhearted, gentleman with great goals for his future. As a committed scholar, Dushun arrives early to school for various meetings and leaves late from his extracurricular activities. Dushun’s favorite class is world literature, and he hopes to one day travel to England considering his fascination with the English language. Dushun comes from a family of three and currently lives with his mother in Chicago’s Austin community. He is close with and extremely proud of his older sister who will soon graduate from nursing school.

Dushun is a representative of HT’s Student Council and enjoys the responsibility he has taken on in serving as a voice for his peers. He is also a mentee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Dushun’s extra curricular involvement is indicative of his outgoing personality and strong leadership abilities. One of his main interests outside of school is food! For Dushun food represents family and is something he enjoys significantly when gathering with those he loves most. Deshun looks forward to learning more about food within the Costa Rican culture, along with topics surrounding sustainable farming under EYTT’s global theme, sustainability. Never having left the country, Dushun anticipates this new and exciting journey ahead of him. He doesn’t know what to expect overseas, but he is thrilled to be a part of an organization providing him with the chance to learn new things and travel abroad.

Below is Dushun’s account of why he decided to become a part of EYTT:

“I live in a poor neighborhood that has a lot of gangbangers and drug activity. I don’t do drugs and stay away from trouble. I come from a single-parent home and I know how it feels to be poor. I see people on the streets every day begging for money. It is very sad and sometimes I wish I can help. If they ask me for money I give them what I can because they probably have no family that cares about them or parents that were killed.”

“I have learned from experience that you really don’t know another individual’s situation until you are in their shoes. That’s something my beloved great grandmother who died recently used to tell me. She taught me a lot about life and her experience’s as a young girl living in Jonestown, Mississippi. She lived in a racist, segregated town where it was primarily white. She worked as a housekeeper who took care of children, made sure that they were fed and taken good care of. She always told me, “Take people’s negative opinions of you and use them, feed off them…” Meaning, when they try to put you down, have some wisdom and stand up for what’s right, keep your head up and be the best you can be. I know that I will gain a lot from the EYTT program. This opportunity will help me with my goals of graduating high school and getting into college. I will have the chance to see new things, and learn through traveling abroad. I want to be a successful, Black American who travels to different countries and brings back ideas to share with my community. I want to help other kids in my neighborhood see there are more options in life which is what EYTT is helping me to see.”

Become followers of our blog today and keep up with the growth of our program. Follow our students as they chronicle their experiences by blogging here on our site. Hear first accounts of what they are learning on an individual, group, and community level as they prepare to engage in this life changing and transformational opportunity.

www.eytt.org

“Like” us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

“Empowering Youth Through Travel is a Chicago based 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to empower urban teens of color from disadvantaged backgrounds, through hands-on learning of current, worldly issues. As we seek to develop global leaders equipped with the skills to enact positive change at home and abroad.”

Meet EYTT Student Ambassador Yael Ramirez

This year serves as the pilot launch for the Empowering Youth Through Travel (EYTT) program. As we move full speed ahead with the Supplemental Learning Experience (SLE), our students are beginning to really understand the significance of their involvement. With only three students selected to participate this year, it has been a mutually beneficial experience. Among the many benefits, EYTT has the opportunity to tailor a curriculum specific to our participants needs. We also receive great feedback from students and their families on ways to enhance our program. Students are given individual attention in an educational setting, along with the opportunity to have an inside view of the start-up phase of a social entrepreneurial venture! Now is your chance to meet one of EYTT’s Student Ambassadors, Yael Ramirez.

Yael is a junior at Holy Trinity High School. She is a spunky and passionate young lady with many interests and the hunger to succeed. Yael is the oldest child in a family of four and learned at an early age what it means to step-up to the plate during difficult times. Her freshman year, Yael’s father was diagnosed with skin cancer, and to make matters worse he was in need of a kidney transplant. Amazingly, Yael’s mother donated one of her kidneys to her husband. This was quite a challenging time, and required Yael to take on family responsibilities she never anticipated doing at 15 years old. Yael remained strong for her mother and especially her younger sister. In 2011, her father recovered from his cancer and a sense of peace in the Ramirez home was again restored.

Having endured such a roller-coaster of emotions, Yael uses her creativity as an outlet. She is quite inventive and enjoys arts and crafts projects such as making friendship bracelets, and occasionally changing up the décor in her bedroom with recycled materials. Yael also holds an extreme appreciation for nature and adores animals. Along with being part of EYTT she is involved in pet club, student council, and is one of the newest members of the National Honors Society (Go, Yael!). When asked what in EYTT she looks forward to, Yael said, “Adventure!” She wants to delve deeper into the global topic of sustainability having always been a conscious recycler. Yeal is ready for the new experiences that await her through the EYTT SLE in Chicago and of course, our end-of-year journey to Costa Rica!

Below you will find Yael’s blog account of the students first SLE day on January 28, 2012:

“The 28th of January was the day that Chris, Dushan and I had our first class for EYTT. I didn’t know what to expect, I was excited to get started though. We were unsure of who our second teacher was, so it was just another thing I looked forward to.”

“We began with an activity that involved a long piece of yarn and we all sat in a circle. We each grabbed a part of the yarn and tossed it around to each other. When everyone had a part to grab onto, they told me to tug on it. My pull affected the part that Christopher was holding, while Chris’s pull affected Dushun’s, and so forth. I felt this activity’s message was that what one personal does has an affect on all of us. Whether it is a good thing or not, our individual actions have some kind of affect on the whole.”

“The second activity we did I really liked. It was a memory game and required really concentrating on what your partner was doing. Our teacher would show us a shape, letter or word and we would have to draw or spell it out on our partner’s back. When we were ready, we’d go write or draw what we thought was drawn on our backs onto a piece of paper. We came out with some things that were way different from what the person spelled, although sometimes we got it right. This activity taught me about communication and teamwork. If you didn’t pay attention then you would get something way different from what your the other person wrote.”

“After the activities we read our scholarship essays aloud to one another. I really liked that because we were giving each other advice on how to improve our essays and make them stronger. It was good to get opinions from others who don’t really know you outside of school. The last thing we did was research Costa Rica and Chicago. We all had different topics and mine was environment and climate as well as holidays. I learned that Costa Rica and Chicago have a lot of holidays in common. We are different in many ways, yet still have some similarities. I am really looking forward to the many more classes like this one!”

Become followers of our blog today and keep up with the growth of our program. Follow our students as they chronicle their experiences by blogging here on our site. Hear first accounts of what they are learning on an individual, group, and community level as they prepare to engage in this life changing and transformational opportunity.

www.eytt.org

“Like” us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

“Empowering Youth Through Travel is a Chicago based 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to empower urban teens of color from disadvantaged backgrounds, through hands-on learning of current, worldly issues. As we seek to develop global leaders equipped with the skills to enact positive change at home and abroad.”

All Aboard! EYTT Students Begin The Supplemental Learning Experience

Saturday, January 28 commence’s a new chapter for Empowering Youth Through Travel students as they begin the Supplemental Learning Experience (SLE). The SLE component of our program intertwines a social issue with leadership development. A curriculum has been established by EYTT educators, which will equip teens with the knowledge and skills to make positive change in their respective communities and abroad. Part of developing global leaders is through increasing one’s awareness of issues that affect individuals worldwide. EYTT promotes this awareness through our 2012 Global Theme sustainable development. Sustainability is a broad issue to cover as there are many subtopics under this umbrella. However, students will gain a solid introduction of the theme with an opportunity to delve further into a specific area of their interest. They will do this through independent research, field trips, hands-on activities, overseas travel to Costa Rica, and a final capstone project where students discover their niche as social agents of change.

EYTT’s Education and Program Coordinator, Gema Alonso, has worked with our students since summer 2011. She has developed a mentoring and academic relationship with each of them in preparation for the SLE. Throughout this time students have made progress towards their personal and academic goals. As the program transitions it will be amazing to witness these young men and women continue to form their identities and become conscious global citizens. Our students are enthusiastic about what is to come in the next seven months, from exploring their own city to packing up and traveling overseas.

While students increase their understanding of the Global Theme, we integrate the Social Change Model of Leadership Development created by the Higher Education Research Institute of UCLA. This model looks at leadership in three different areas to engage students and cultivate leadership skills. Within these three areas there are core values assigned:

Individual – consciousness of self, congruence, and commitment

Group – collaboration, common purpose, and controversy with civility

Community – citizenship

This model aligns with EYTT’s organizational goals within the SLE program to:

ENLIGHTEN our students through hands on learning of current issues at home and abroad.

DEVELOP future leaders who are aware of the issues plaguing our country and those overseas; providing them with the knowledge and tools to enact positive change.

FOSTER worldly citizens who will gain an understanding and tolerance of diverse groups of people from various cultures, religions, races, and creeds.

Become followers of our blog today and keep up with the growth of our program. Follow our students as they chronicle their experiences by blogging here on our site. Hear first accounts of what they are learning on an individual, group, and community level as they prepare to engage in this life changing and transformational opportunity.

www.eytt.org

“Like” us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

“Empowering Youth Through Travel is a Chicago based 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to empower urban teens of color from disadvantaged backgrounds, through hands-on learning of current, worldly issues. As we seek to develop global leaders equipped with the skills to enact positive change at home and abroad.”

EYTT Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today Empowering Youth Through Travel, NFP, honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His instrumental and defining role in American history and the civil rights movement will never be forgotten. King’s words, spirit, and widespread impact continue to resonate throughout our lives. He promoted racial understanding, love, tolerance, community, and change. Although many strides have been taken to implement King’s vision, we still have a long way to go. There is much work that needs to be done in addressing the issues of race, class, and privilege which all form the society we live in today. King once said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Although true change begins with self; collective effort is needed to achieve a broader reach. We must all come together to address the issues plaguing our communities and create viable solutions for the sake of our futures.

At Empowering Youth Through Travel, NFP, we seek to do our part by making the right of travel available to inner-city teens. EYTT not only provides participants with such experiences, but also equips them with the knowledge and tools to implement lasting change at home and abroad. However, this takes a team effort to happen. There is no greater reminder of collectivity than the EYTT Meet and Greet held this past Friday. Parents, students, staff, and board members of EYTT all came together to learn more about one another. The evening was one of inspiration, motivation, shared experiences, and a chance for everyone to bond.

As each individual stood to introduce themselves, there was one common thread that linked us all. “Opportunity.” Whether it was someone who has never traveled abroad or another who has traveled to five countries, it all came down to having or not having the “opportunity.” Without being presented with a chance to see the world either through academic study abroad programs, church groups, family trips, or scholarships, few may have traveled. The “opportunity” alone was instrumental and determines whether a person has an equal chance at what life has to offer. It is “opportunity” that fosters equality, opens doors, provides new perspectives, incites a call to action, and changes lives forever.

Travel is a privilege and there are a multitude of barriers that prevent people from going abroad. Unfortunately there are more obstacles that keep underserved teens from travel, than solutions to provide them with the option. Like King, we all have dreams. Yet, without options we will inevitably miss out on the ability to experience some of life’s greatest riches. Nonetheless, we must unite in our efforts to create opportunities for our youth and make a better future for one another.

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

Let’s get to work!

To view pictures of the EYTT Meet and Greet, click here.

Become followers of our blog today and keep up with the growth of our program. Follow our students as they chronicle their experiences by blogging here on our site. Hear first accounts of what they are learning on an individual, group, and community level as they prepare to engage in this life changing and transformational opportunity.

www.eytt.org

“Like” us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

“Empowering Youth Through Travel is a Chicago based 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to empower urban teens of color from disadvantaged backgrounds, through hands-on learning of current, worldly issues. As we seek to develop global leaders equipped with the skills to enact positive change at home and abroad.”

The opinions expressed in this blog are by Jessica Mann, Founder and Executive Director of Empowering Youth Through Travel, NFP.

New Year, New Faces: BOD Member Maria Dolores “Lola” Campos

Today is the last day in our “New Year, New Faces” series on Board of Director introductions. It also happens to be the day of our “BOD – Student Meet & Greet” at Holy Trinity High School. This evening, students and parents will have the opportunity to meet the men and women who help lead Empowering Youth Through Travel, NFP successfully into the future.

Without further adieu we bring you Board of Director for Empowering Youth Through Travel, NFP, Maria Dolores Campos or “Lola” as most of us know her. Lola first learned about EYTT through Board Development coordinator, Diana Alfaro. After learning more about the organization and meeting staff members at the STATE fundraiser, she was compelled to be a part of the organization.

At a young age, Lola developed a fascination for learning about people and other cultures. She is a strong advocate for overseas travel and volunteering, with the belief that such experiences bring an increased worldly perspective and individual awareness. For children and adults alike, Lola feels that the knowledge gained from travel makes you a greater asset to our global society. Having traveled throughout her native Mexico, along with parts of South America, Europe, and the Philippines, Lola is a testament to her convictions on the significance of travel.

Lola has participated in consulting projects developing sustainable poverty alleviation strategies in rural Mexico. She has also taught English in Mexico City to medical students at Univerisdad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), the country’s most influential institution of higher learning. In recent years, Lola has collaborated with the U.S. – Mexico Chamber of Commerce assisting in the organization’s goal to increase mutual economic development among the two nations. A proud Double Demon, Lola graduated from DePaul University with her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, followed by a Master of Public Service in International Public Administration.

Welcome Aboard, Lola!

Become followers of our blog today and keep up with the growth of our program. Follow our students as they chronicle their experiences by blogging here on our site. Hear first accounts of what they are learning on an individual, group, and community level as they prepare to engage in this life changing and transformational opportunity.

www.eytt.org

“Like” us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

“Empowering Youth Through Travel is a Chicago based 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to empower urban teens of color from disadvantaged backgrounds, through hands-on learning of current, worldly issues. As we seek to develop global leaders equipped with the skills to enact positive change at home and abroad.”

 


New Year, New Faces: BOD Member Carlos Arroyo

Today we introduce to you Carlos Arroyo, Board of Director and Secretary for Empowering Youth Through Travel, NFP. He is a Chicago native and grew up in the city’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Carlos was considered an “at risk” teen, raised in an area where violence, gangs, and drugs were the norm. Unlike the majority of his peers, Carlos was able to travel outside of the city. As a kid, Carlos’ father would take him and his family to Mexico every year. His mother worked for a corporate travel agency, and occasionally had Carlos accompany her on trips throughout the US. These experiences provided Carlos with a new perspective, and allowed him to see what life was like outside of his community. Many of the people he grew up with have yet to leave Chicago and unfortunately may never have the chance to do so. Carlos understands how severely limiting this can be, yet it does not change the cycle that continues to repeat itself.

Carlos learned about EYTT through the organizations work with Holy Trinity High School students. He was inspired by the mission and as Holy Trinity alum, Carlos was compelled to get involved. HTHS played a huge part in shaping who Carlos has become today. This motivated his desire to provide their students with life-changing travel opportunities, just as he had. Carlos believes that his personal and professional experiences will help EYTT grow its cause and assist in inspiring youth.

Carlos is the Lead Conversion and Integrations Trainer for Talmer Bank, a mid-sized financial institution in the Midwest. With six years of banking experience, he has held various positions in the industry including management and business development. Most recently, he has helped to train and integrate over 500 employees from failed institutions acquired through FDIC assisted transactions. He previously served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for a nonprofit that assists elderly living in Chicago’s western suburbs. Carlos received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Robert Morris University.

Welcome Aboard, Carlos!

Become followers of our blog today and keep up with the growth of our program. Follow our students as they chronicle their experiences by blogging here on our site. Hear first accounts of what they are learning on an individual, group, and community level as they prepare to engage in this life changing and transformational opportunity.

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“Empowering Youth Through Travel is a Chicago based 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to empower urban teens of color from disadvantaged backgrounds, through hands-on learning of current, worldly issues. As we seek to develop global leaders equipped with the skills to enact positive change at home and abroad.”