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VISIONS Service Adventures Commemorates 25 Years of Teen Service Adventures
VISIONS Service Adventures celebrates 25 years of setting the standard for high school and middle school international community service programs
VISIONS Service Adventures provides enriching experiences that are an enriching alternative to teen summer camps. Teens have the opportunity to travel to unique destinations around the world, contribute to development projects and actively engage in cultural and language immersion. Participants come back from a VISIONS service adventure with memories that last a lifetime and having completed important work. Close attention is paid to community-building, group discussions and activities designed to reflect on the volunteer and cultural experience.
“Service in the cross-cultural context allows teens the opportunity to make a difference and, just as important, know the people whose lives they are impacting in personal, mutually respectful ways,” says Katherine Dayton, VISIONS Executive Director. “We give students tangible ways to be challenged through ambitious service work, thereby developing resilience and self-confidence, and realizing their potential in this world.”
The organization was created in 1988 to take experiential learning to another level — by tapping into teenagers’ abilities, with the goal of helping others and thereby expanding the rewards cycle. VISIONS collaborates with local nonprofits around the world and makes long-term commitments in host communities. The organization has worked in most of its communities for more than 15 years, and in some locations for more than 20 years. The relationships run deep, and teen participants are welcomed like family into VISIONS communities around the world.
On a VISIONS service adventure, young people live in the heart of a community and work side-by-side with their hosts, getting to know the people whose lives they impact. Students work hard, play hard and make a difference. They also gain an appreciation for this multicultural world and return home a more informed global citizen. Students get to choose between three or four worksites that run concurrently during a program. Teen volunteers work until mid-afternoon on weekdays, with time at the end of the day for cultural and recreation events. Weekends are set aside for travel and excursions to some of the best sites in the region.
Since 1989, teens have built more than 1,200 structures and done countless hours of social and environmental service as part of VISIONS programs. Currently, VISIONS Service Adventures offers programs in Alaska, British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador & Galapagos, Guadelupe, Mississippi, Montana (Blackfeet & Cheyenne Reservations)