A successful Ambassador completes a community service project of his or her choosing during the year. Read on to hear about some of the projects that our stellar Ambassadors are engaged in.
What’s a GLA Global Ambassador, you ask? The simple answer is that they are alumni who have been recognized by their Mentors and Directors as kind, curious, and motivated students of the world who represent GLA during the coming year. In truth, they are so much more! Ambassadors attend events, serve as references, post to and answer questions on social media, and represent GLA.
A successful Ambassador also completes a community service project of his or her choosing during the year. Some continue with meaningful projects that they have been involved in for years, while others strike out a new path, putting into practice the skills and philosophies they learned abroad. Beach cleanups, kitten fostering, rally organizing, — these are all fair game! Read on to hear about some of the projects that our stellar Ambassadors are engaged in.
“Ever since I can remember, I have delivered meals with my family on Christmas and New Years Day. Yesterday, I continued this tradition through the organization, CASI (The Center for Active Seniors). They provide meals for low income seniors on holidays where other organizations like Meals on Wheels aren’t delivering. I have learned that we are not only delivering meals, but also human contact. It might sound cheesy, but every year, the seniors share stories of lost loved ones and want to give us hugs, cookies, and even dollar bills (we don’t take the money!!). It really makes me appreciate the family I have and that I don’t have to be alone on the holidays. This has given me a lot of joy – the simple act of delivering a meal and a few minutes of conversation can make someone not feel so alone.”
“As it was Christmas recently, I decided to complete my community service project by organizing a piano performance at a nearby senior hospital (Unity Health Toronto) and playing various Christmas and holiday carols. Even though I ended spending Christmas afternoon in a hospital I thoroughly enjoyed it because I knew that I was bringing a little bit of happiness to the patients who had to spend their holidays in the hospital. From this experience, I learned that you can bring someone joy through small things that you do such as spending 30 minutes playing piano or holding the door.”
GLA Alum: Costa Rica: Protecting the Pacific 2019
Service Project: Building houses in low-income communities
Home State: Nuevo Leon, Mexico
“TECHO is a non-profit organization that is involved in 19 Latin American countries. It seeks to overcome extreme poverty through the joint action of its inhabitants and young volunteers. My school, the American School Foundation of Monterrey (located in Mexico), has its own branch of TECHO; TECHO ASFM. Every year, we organize two construction trips, in which we build around 20 houses in low-income communities. Each volunteer raises around $250 USD in order to fund all necessary materials. I’ve been to three builds, one in May, one this past weekend, and one last November. We build all homes from scratch and get involved with the families that we are helping. It is a life-changing experience and I can’t begin to describe the feeling you get when you present the family with their brand new home. In total, TECHO has built over 150,000 homes and is actively involved with 634 different communities. I love being able to help the people of my country and believe TECHO is one of the best ways to give back. Click here to learn more about this organization.”
GLA Alum: Thailand: In and Beyond the Classroom 2019
Service Project: Pitching in to fight hunger
Home State: Wisconsin, USA
“I participated in an event called Bowls For Hunger. This is the 23rd year hosting this event. This event includes handmade bowls, raising money, and bringing the community together for a nice soup dinner. Every year, our art teacher hand makes roughly 1000 of bowls, and then are painted by students. At the dinner, the bowls are laid out and each person gets to choose a bowl and keep it afterwards. The dinner consists of many different kinds of soup, sides, a drink, and a dessert made by the high schoolers. This event has raised over 100,000 dollars and tons of non-perishable food which all goes to the local food pantries. This being my fourth year of painting bowls, selling tickets, cleaning tables and serving soup, coleslaw, bread, and dessert, I have gained a sense of awareness and accomplishment. Seeing how this event can bring the community together to enjoy a meal that gives back to those in need, has opened my eyes and shown me how grateful I am for things that can be taken for granted at times. Lots of people around my town are less fortunate than I am, and this event has taught me that giving to those in need, helps me understand the meaning of giving back as well as seeing their gratitude. I have loved all the years I have put into this event, and couldn’t be happier with how it has shaped and transformed our community!”