by Brendin and Suriana

The moment when we all found out we were all going to Ecuador was such a huge surprise! We were all so excited and somewhat awestruck at the immense opportunity that had been given to us.  

Our teachers recorded our reactions as we opened the letters determining  whether we were going to Ecuador or not.

Within a few weeks time, we not only found out who was going, but also found out that our trip was being funded, thanks to the generosity of the FLYTE organization.  After the initial excitement settled, we began to wonder, now what? With the rest of the meeting we discussed plans to come up with a formal contract and continue fundraising.

After the announcement day, we decided we needed to meet every Tuesday after school to ensure that we were prepared for everything we needed for the trip, including fundraising money to support Casa Victoria and for excursions once we are in Ecuador.  We decided to fundraise at school events and hold a raffle. For the raffle, we decided that the best thing to do to get the word out about our program was to highlight some of the businesses in our city. We created a pitch and asked local businesses for donations to a Best Of Newburgh


Hour of Code event at Excelsior Academy

basket. Now we are selling raffle tickets with the opportunity for winners to get over $500 in gift certificates to local salons, restaurants and even a game to our local AAA baseball team.  One of the events that we fundraised at was our school’s annual Hour of Code. At the event, Global to Local members sold concessions, promoted the raffle and helped teach coding to people of all ages. Activities ranged from simple games, to website building, to even working robots.

The contract was drafted and finalized by Mrs. McCartney, Mrs. Hesse and Mr. Rothman. The document outlines the specific rules each student has to follow in Ecuador and what is expected of them up until the time of the trip. Now that the contract is finalized, we have planned a Global to Local Parent meeting. At the meeting we will be discussing the contract and the expectations of the students while in Ecuador.  

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