2017 Service Grants

21 Days to Be the Change

Commit 21 days of the new year to creating positive change.

$400 Service Grants for six impactful 21-Day Flagship Programs

Through January 31, GLA is offering $400 Service Grants to six impactful Flagship Programs, for ambitious, passionate teens who are ready to commit 21 days this summer to making a positive change both in their own habits and in the lives of the communities they volunteer in.

Flagship Programs eligible for a $400 Service Grant:

TO REDEEM: From the list, choose the community you'd like to work with this summer and enter the code NEWYEAR2017 when you apply for enrollment. Deadline to enroll with this Service Grant is January 31, 2017.

What is a Flagship Program?

At 21 days, Flagship Programs are our longest, and most highly rated by students for making an impact through community service, learning about new cultures and getting a healthy dose of adventure. Learn more about what sets a Flagship Program apart—and the science behind forming better habits in 21 days!

South Africa: Social Entrepreneurship Initiative™

Live on a contemporary, global campus in Johannesburg while developing solutions to issues you’re passionate about.

  • Learn how to design and mobilize solutions for global impact
  • Hear from prominent guest speakers in social enterprise and development
  • Live on a campus with students from over 30 countries
  • Take a 3-day excursion to beautiful Cape Town
  • Visit sites like the Cradle of Humankind and go shark cage diving

“On my team, our different dynamics came together to produce excellent results. We were able to plan out how exactly we were going to present our ideas to our community site in a colorful yet professional manner. During our classroom sessions, we had fun, made jokes but still brainstormed brilliant ideas, putting the best of them together to make fantastic presentations on how we could help Ratanang Children’s Home in Baragwanath, South Africa. Our motto? ’Teamwork makes the dream work.’” – Zahrah, student

Enter code NEWYEAR2017to receive a $400 Service grant when you enroll in South Africa: Social Entrepreneurship Initiative™.

India: Service Through the Lens™

Capture the stories of a great civilization, from Himalayan societies to the stunning Taj Mahal.

  • Live in Dharamsala at the foot of the Himalayas
  • Volunteer at an underserved kindergarten and help advocate for education
  • Learn about photojournalism, ethics and getting published from industry experts
  • Develop your own body of creative and editorial work as a Capstone Project
  • Capture beautiful moments in daily life and participate in peer review

"From this program I have been able to look at my surrounding circumstances in a new mindset. The most important lesson that I think this program has taught me is this: even in heartbreaking conditions, in the poorest of areas, in the most disadvantaged parts of the world where cell reception is more common than clean, running water, people still find genuine happiness through each other. The memories I have of my GLA trip, of the people I met, of the cultures that I encountered: I will have these for the rest of my life. I can say pretty surely that I will come back to India one day. I know I was hesitant in the beginning to go to a country clear across the world with perfect strangers. But... it's taking that leap that will change your life; it certainly changed mine." – Cameron, student

Enter code NEWYEAR2017 to receive a $400 Service grant when you enroll in India: Service Through the Lens™ (21-Day Program).

Argentina: Land of Discovery™

Explore Argentina's dynamic communities: in the big city, on the tranquil ranch and in stunning nature.

  • Build sustainable food production and community facilities for an underserved community
  • Live on the Tigre Delta and kayak its many waterways
  • Horseback ride across Argentina’s backcountry with traditional gauchos
  • Visit the vibrant city of Buenos Aires and eat like a local
  • Hike by Iguazú Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

"When people ask me how my trip was, I have trouble. How am I supposed to summarize possibly the best three weeks of my life? Not only have I become more aware of global affairs and interests, but this program has deepened my love to learn new things, deepened my love to meet new peoples and cultures, and deepened my understanding about how my actions ultimately affect the world." – Talia, student

Enter code NEWYEAR2017 to receive a $400 Service grant when you enroll in Argentina: Land of Discovery™ (21-Day Program).

Costa Rica: Spanish Service Adventure

The cloud forest is your classroom, where Spanish immersion, volunteering and adventure create a limitless learning environment!

  • Practice Spanish with native speakers in an encouraging community
  • Volunteer on projects advancing sustainable community development
  • Learn about the importance of organic agriculture in protecting Costa Rica’s biodiversity
  • Visit the Extreme Forest Park for climbing, rappelling and ziplining
  • Go surfing and whitewater rafting in world-class waters

"Every word that I learned to communicate in Spanish made me feel more connected to the beautiful culture of Costa Rica that I soon hope to return to. Our Directors and Mentors also fueled my passion for sustainability. Before the trip, I felt as though my actions would never make a difference. I now know otherwise. We can BE the Change. I look around and see all the opportunities for change in this world. ‘The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.’" – Adam, student

Enter code NEWYEAR2017 to receive a $400 Service grant when you enroll in Costa Rica: Spanish Service Adventure (21-Day Program).

Dominican Republic: Building a Sustainable World™

Dive deep into sustainable development issues and learn to address humanity’s greatest challenges.

  • Construct safe, sustainable homes and community buildings for rural Dominican families, using innovative methods such as bottle building
  • Meet local leaders and NGOs implementing sustainable development programs
  • Visit Bahía de las Águilas, a remote white-sand beach with turquoise water
  • Learn how to dance merengue and bachata from Dominican locals
  • Explore a bustling market on the Haitian border

"In one of the communities we were working in, many of the children tried to help us shovel and sift sand to cement their floors. We all played with the kids, but there was one little girl in particular who I became friends with. Maddie was a girl who had so little, and yet was so kind and generous. I felt the need to forever give back to her and others people in similar situations.

"Meeting Maddie and other Dominicans was a humbling experience. I learned so much from them, along with my amazing GLA counselors who often shared stories and knowledge from their past service trips with organizations like the Peace Corps. In 3 weeks I made lifelong friends who made me laugh everyday while at the beach, hiking, cliff jumping, or doing hard service work. My experience in the Dominican Republic changed what I want to study in college to International Development with a concentration in Latin America, and it changed what I want to do in the future. It was truly an unforgettable experience that I am forever grateful for." – Jordyn, student

Enter code NEWYEAR2017 to receive a $400 Service grant when you enroll in Dominican Republic: Building a Sustainable World™ (21-Day Program).

Spain: Spanish Service Adventure

For more than a language course, travel to Valencia—the perfect place for a full Spanish experience.

  • Improve your Spanish through language immersion
  • Explore complex issues of immigration facing modern-day Spain
  • See Spain’s iconic architecture and visit the Sagrada Familia and Paruk Guell
  • Take a paella workshop and learn to dance flamenco
  • Tour the Barcelona soccer stadium

"I learned so much about Spanish language, culture and customs just from going to service every day. I stopped thinking about counting community service hours or what I was going to use them for at all. It felt like a dream, having fun with the kids and teaching them English. What we gave to the kids and taught them, they gave right back. Away from service, our Local Director found several concerts in Valencia that we went to one night. She also found a dance festival, where we were able to see some traditional Valencian dance and try to take part in it ourselves!" – Marley, student

Enter code NEWYEAR2017 to receive a $400 Service grant when you enroll in Spain: Spanish Service Adventure.

*TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Service Grants will be awarded only to new applicants who enter the proper code upon enrollment for an eligible Summer 2017 program. Enrollment capacity is limited for each program and Service Grants are available until January 31, 2017 only. Grants may not be combined with other offers or financial aid, and cannot be exchanged for cash. Grants are eligible for redemption on 21-day sessions only.

Deadline to enroll with a $400 Service Grant is January 31.