Have you ever wondered which program the mothers who work at GLA HQ have sent, or want to send, their own kids on? In celebration of Mother’s Day, we’ve asked 4 of our GLA Moms to choose between their 31 “children” and highlight just ONE program that they’d love to send their own baby on. Check out their picks:
Jessica Miller, Director of Admissions: Spain
As the Director of Admissions for Global Leadership Adventures, I've had the opportunity to experience powerful programs all over the world. Every GLA program is unique, and they all have specific lessons to teach young people. But when I think about where I'd want my son, Adryan, to travel when he's old enough to volunteer with GLA, my heart automatically heads to España! I studied abroad there in college, and it is where I first fell in love with a new and unique culture. It is such a diverse and vibrant place, and it is constantly evolving-- every time I return I am amazed at how much changes, yet how much rich tradition remains. Our Spain: Cultural Kaleidoscope™ program shows participants 3 major Spanish cities-- Barcelona, Valencia and Granada-- and is full of exciting and meaningful learning opportunities. The service project, which focuses on supporting families that have recently immigrated to Spain, is also incredibly valuable to the region, and is a great way to build friendships across languages, borders and backgrounds. Plus, it's a 21-day Flagship program, which means he'd get to spend three exciting weeks making a difference!
Sue Cuthbert, Enrollment Advisor: Tanzania
My son Matthew was 16 years old when he asked my husband and I to sit down, as he wanted to talk to us. We anxiously awaited what he wanted to discuss, and he said, “Mom, Dad...I want to go to Africa!” We were actually relieved of his request, as our minds were wandering in so many other different directions.
He had found the GLA Tanzania: Heart and Soul of Africa program, and said he had always dreamed of going to Africa. Tanzania seemed like the perfect fit. Matthew loves working with kids-- not to mention the trip also included a safari, which would check off his bucket list dream of going on a safari and seeing so many amazing animals in the wild.
We carefully reviewed all the information for the program, and told him he could go if he helped raise some of the money.Matthew got busy fundraising for his program, and was very successful. He left for 3 weeks to Tanzania where he taught English to children, helped build a kitchen, visited an orphanage and of course went on a safari. As his mom, it was the best and most rewarding experience I could of hoped for. He returned a more mature, appreciative,and thoughtful young man and he still carries on the value of knowledge, kindness and friendships, that he learned on his trip to Africa over 5 years later. After that trip, we were both so impressed with GLA, we started working for them. We wanted to help as many teens as possible to have a similar experience!
Mariana Torrescasana, Marketing Operations Specialist: China
My son Luke is only 15 months old, but if he continues to be the explorer who can't sit still that he is now, he'll go on many adventures in his lifetime! Looking ahead to the future, if I could select one of GLA’s programs for his first Service Learning Adventure, I would pick our China: One Nation, Two Worlds™ program. It offers a variety of really unique activities (like staying overnight in a Buddhist Temple at the top of Shibaoshan Mountain), and he would never be bored! Learning about and being immersed into the Chinese culture would allow Luke to see how other communities do things differently. I also like that the volunteering part of the China program is a really hands-on, physical learning experience that teaches teens about history and how the community of Shaxi is preserving their own heritage. Lastly, I want my son to see the world, and in China, he will be able to see so many amazing sites-- including the Great Wall and Forbidden City!
Sydney Miller, Enrollment Advisor: Guatemala
I had the wonderful experience of visiting GLA’s Guatemala: Children of the Maya program during the summer of 2015, and I loved the country, the people, and the program GLA has created there. I kept thinking about how, when my daughter Melia is old enough (she’s only 5 now), I would love for her to experience this program for herself.
Guatemala is a country of vibrant green trees, plants, and crops. The handmade goods and textiles sprinkle rainbow colors around every corner, in every shop, and on every local persons outfit for the day. The mountains of Xela bring a very nice climate to the area-- it’s not too hot, not too cold, has low humidity, and has limited bugs! The Home Base is very cute and comfortable, surrounded by a large fence and gate, just a few driveways down from our Local Director’s home. The inside is clean and set up very nicely for the students, and the kitchen is open so that students can bond with the cooking staff and learn about Guatemalan cuisine.
The service of this program is particularly special since we have been volunteering at this school for over 5 summers. The children at the school where GLA works are so excited to see the volunteers each day, and the service involved a variety of activities at the school, keeping everyone engaged and excited. The closing ceremony that the school organized, which included a choreographed dance, graduation ceremony, and individual “thank you’s”, was a testament to the special bond GLA has with this community. I know that Melia would love it, and I’m looking forward to being able to give her such a rich experience!
Are you ready to make your own choice? Check out all of our available programs here, or start your application now!