Why a GLA Program Can't Wait Until Next Year
GLA immediately has an impact on students upon their return. Most teens uncover new passions and dreams, become more focused in their studies, and discover what they want to study in college. Parents describe GLA international teen travel as “igniting a spark” - a sudden change in their maturing child. The spark grows into a fire, impacting his or her behavior, motivations, and outlook on life. The earlier the spark, the greater the impact.
As my high school graduation waits right around the corner, I’ve reflected quite a bit on the things that have most impacted me through the past four years of my life. I feel that I’ve done a lot here at home, but being president of student council, playing softball, and working hard academically don’t even begin to measure up to the impact of my experiences that I had through GLA...This experience completely flipped my world upside down. Not only did I meet my best friends on this trip, but I also saw the true value of sustainable development and community. Upon my return home, teachers, friends, and family alike commented on my newfound happiness and passion. To put it simply, I was invigorated with a new drive I didn’t even know existed.
For so long I thought my life's ambition was in film, but after my service trip I realized it was in the Environment and Human rights. There is no gift like the gift of an epiphany. While there I saw things I had never seen before, such as people living in the slums. When I came home I was excited to change the lives in my own community. Seeing how good I have it really propelled me to ensure others have the same opportunities as me. It broke my heart to see so many kids in the Dominican who had strong desires to succeed. I want to make sure that those kids can get where they need to go, regardless of where they were born or what class they are currently in.
Mother of GLA Alum
This trip was my daughter's idea. She wanted to gain a better perspective of how others live. I thought it would give her a better appreciation of what she has. The trip gave her so much more. She now looks for community service opportunities in our area to get involved in. It has also helped shape what she wants to go to college for. She is interested in studying education with a foreign language minor and hopes to teach in needy areas abroad. Not only has this experience changed the course of what she intends to study in college, but I strongly feel she will be teaching abroad in needy areas after she graduates. I could not recommend this program more highly. There is no price tag to put on what she has learned.
Mother of GLA Alum
I believe my daughter’s experiences with GLA opened her heart and mind. My student was intellectually and emotionally energized by her experience traveling with GLA and support from the sensitive program leaders and mentors. She is considering a career in international relations or anthropology. Her experiences with GLA fostered a passion for exploring, helping and becoming immersed in other cultures. She has chosen schools that have programs of study that will help her explore her broad range of interests.
Mother of GLA Alum
This experience most definitely has changed Megan’s college choices. Her expansion of environmental knowledge has inspired her to look at majors in environmental science and medicine. It has also inspired her to go to a college with strong environmental morals, knowing how lack of care/ human waste can affect different communities and ecosystems... Her experience in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands has helped Megan look into her career path, and further solidify her passion to help in the environmental needs throughout the world. It has given her the passion to bring her newfound discoveries and knowledge to college with her, where hopefully she can influence others to make a conscious change in their lifestyles for the betterment of different environments around the globe.
Father of GLA Alum
We picked Gena up last night at the airport and we haven’t seen her so excited about something or as animated. She came home reporting on her amazing experience and some great people she met with…