“Travel itself is very scarce for me personally, as I’ve never even commuted beyond the northeastern shoreline of the United States. From the volunteer work to the tiny details — such as the different smells of the streets and different likes of the meals — will be exhilarating and memorable.” –Gabriella, college student at Excelsior Academy traveling to Ecuador this summer

Travel has the capacity to change lives for the better. It offers an education one can never receive within the wall space of an class room entirely. It explains about the global world and yourself.

This past year, I started THE BUILDING BLOCKS for Learning and Children Travel Education (FLYTE) because I want to give those who aren’t privileged or lucky enough to travel the opportunity to do so. I wanted to build something that calls for kids like Gabriella and shows them that, though it’s a big world out there, we’re all really the same. I needed to share the positive impact of travel with those less likely to experience it.

A lot more I travel, the greater I realize how we all are as well. Sure, there are cultural differences, but the human experience is a shared one: we all laugh, cry, wish the best for us and friends, worry about our health and wellness, and want to live with meaning. Most of us complain about the long commute and smile at the stunning sunset.

As Maya Angelou said, “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that peoples cry, chuckle, eat, be concerned, and die, it can present the theory that if we try to understand each other, we might even become friends.”

You and I understand this to be true. People like us understand how important it is to have a global perspective. Together with the world being more interconnected than ever before, understanding it hasn’t been more critical – not and then being successful as a person but also in our interconnected economy.

Yet there are kids who can’t see beyond their own town, who have never experienced a chance to meet someone from another countrywide country, or travel distant somewhere. They stay in depressed communities where the world is some big “other just.”

FLYTE was created so that we may help those who don’t have the resources to take action — and with your help and generosity, we’ve funded two excursions already! Because of us, 25 students have observed beyond their borders, volunteered far away, interacted with different cultures, and now have a passport (so they can keep discovering more). Students like Kaleb from Atlanta:

“Traveling abroad uncovered me to different cultures and ready me for the diverse community at college. As a result of this trip, I’ve chose I’m going to study in foreign countries in college.” –Kaleb, BEST Academy scholar and FLYTE Crew participant, springtime 2016…