Have you ever stopped to appreciate the world you live in? Have you ever wondered what daily life would be like for other people around the world? Most of us do not realize how fortunate we are to live in a developed country and take for granted the advantages we have. It is hard to imagine what life would be like in an underdeveloped country much different than our own, and it isn’t until we experience for ourselves what it would be like that we start to appreciate all we have.
Students at CVHS are fortunate enough to participate in Global Glimpse, a service learning program designed to give students the opportunity to see a piece of the world that isn’t already developed like the United States. Students are eligible to travel to countries such as the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua or Ecuador. Through the program, students are placed in different communities where they learn by helping these communities become more sustainable. They learn about different cultures, practices and the basic needs of survival specific to that community. In addition, students teach English to the people of these different communities and participate in a project where they are told by the people of the communities what they need help in and then decide what it is they will do to help.
In charge of running the program this year is Erika Ikemoto, who has not only traveled to Central America but is also very excited to join be a part of the program.
“It’s an amazing opportunity and it is life changing,” explained Ikemoto.
The program is only available to juniors so they can talk about their experiences with other students and share what they learned on their trip.
In order to join the program, students must be nominated either by teachers, counselors, or ambassadors (students who participated in the program the previous years) for having noticeable leadership qualities needed to help others. After being nominated, students can apply to see if they truly qualify to be part of Global Glimpse.
“I didn’t feel like a tourist, I felt like someone actually being able to experience the culture and come back three weeks later and feel the connection to Nicaragua,” shared ambassador Ryan DeCarsky.
Those who are selected travel to these countries for three weeks during the summer. The whole trip costs around $5,000. Global Glimpse guarantees every student $1,000 and offers scholarships so that everyone has an opportunity to go.
However, only about three to four students are allowed to participate. They want to mix up the number of students per school because they want to minimize any influences on the students. In this way, students can have their own experience without feeling obligated to be who they are at school.
“I’m really looking forward to the cultural aspect of seeing how people live other than in the Unites States, Europe, and these other developed countries,” said Julia Portillo who will be traveling with the Global Glimpse program this summer.
“It’s a really amazing program because of the opportunities it brings our students at Castro Valley High School,” said Ikemoto.