The Foundation for Leadership and Youth Travel Education (FLYTE) has announced a partnership with Excelsior Academy’s Global to Local. In an effort to support Newburgh students as they build leadership skills to become positive change agents in our community, FLYTE will provide up to $35,000 of funding and travel support for fifteen students and five chaperones from the Newburgh Enlarged City School District to travel to Quito, Ecuador during the summer of 2017 to engage in a global service learning project. During their ten day stay, students will volunteer at Casa Victoria, a grassroots community organization which provides after school academic support and hot meals for at-risk youth. In addition to supporting the library, teaching basic robotics, and working on a site-based project, students from Excelsior Academy will also engage with a leadership curriculum, so that when they return to Newburgh, they are better equipped to act as project managers for their entire grade during Community Impact Projects. They will also visit the Amazon rainforest, travel to El Mitad del Mundo at the Equator and visit the home and museum of Ecuadorian artist and human rights activist, Oswaldo Guayasamin.
Students from Excelsior have started fundraising to support Casa Victoria and their volunteer work, and have visited various local businesses and organizations to speak about their goals for global service learning and subsequent Community Impact Projects in Newburgh. Student Taina Caballero said, “Being able to change the community and the world around us for the better is mindblowing. Just knowing that this organization can turn into something so much larger is truly exciting and I can’t wait to be a part of this journey.”
FLYTE is a nonprofit agency providing funding, teacher support, and itinerary planning for high school students in underserved schools to provide summer study abroad trips. These trips promote cross-cultural understanding, develop interpersonal skills, and reaffirm a sense of global awareness and participation. Through a better understanding of the world and by gaining international experience, students will pave a pathway to adulthood that expands beyond their immediate community and makes them a global citizen.
Global to Local is a student-led organization under the guidance of Newburgh Free Academy educators Christine McCartney and Jacquline Hesse. You can learn more about their work and follow their travels on their website at http://www.globaltolocal.wordpress.com.