The Transformative Power of Travel
Three years ago, when the Context Foundation for Sustainable Travel launched a travel scholarship for underprivileged students, we had no idea of the power that this initiative could have. The objective of the project is to give economically disadvantaged American students the chance to go abroad and experience the transformative power of travel.
We originally selected St. HOPE as a partner in this endeavor because of a personal recommendation, a connection that proved fruitful. St. Hope is public charter school system that focuses on students from low-income and minority backgrounds providing them with a high-quality, rigorous college preparatory education. The constant dedication to excellence of the student and the staff, the effort demonstrated in the application for the scholarship, and the high level of the projects that the students have presented at the end of their experience, have proved that the choice of St.HOPE as a partner was not only right but ideal.
From the first student (Katie Estabrook) in 2008, to the most recent (Kathleen Snook and Kaneisha King) we have witnessed a growth in the quality of the projects, an ever increasing desire to learn more and bring back to the community of Sacramento. Every year, the experience of traveling to Europe has not only made a difference to the scholarship participants’ lives and their future career decisions, it has also turned the participants into model examples for other students at Sacramento High, for their families, their teachers, their community.
Every year, since 2008, thanks to the generous donations we have received, the Context Foundation has been able to bring one or two students on a trip to Europe. This scholarship, designed together with our docents and the teachers at St. HOPE, is not only a great academic achievement for the students, but it becomes a life changing experience.
Lori Mills, from St. HOPE sums up the importance of the project in a very good way: “The positive impact of the Context Scholarship on the students who participate is too great to measure. Our teachers work extremely hard in the classroom to provide our students with a high quality education, prepare them for college and for life. The Context tours allowed Kaneisha and Kathleen to delve deeply into the culture and history of the two countries in a very personalized way. It was wonderful to see their faces light up as they realized the endless number of possibilities that exist out in the world. I wish that every student could enjoy this amazing, life-altering experience.“.
But probably the best example of the transformative power of traveling can be found in the numerous blog posts written by our students during their journey through Italy and France. And finally in the project that one of the 2010 Scholarship winners put together at the end of her trip. Take a look at her video: put yourself in the shoes of a 16-year-old who is traveling abroad for the first time and who knows that nothing will be the same after this trip.
Each year the Context Foundation supports one or two talented students to travel to Europe. The trip for each student costs approximately $2500. This is inclusive of airfare, accommodation for 12 days, cost for tours, transportation within the city, admission fees. You can help us continue this project and bring more students to learn and understand the importance of travel. A small donation of $10 can make a world of difference. Your donation to the Context Foundation is fully tax-deductible.
Thank you- Context Travel, the Context Foundation for Sustainable Travel & St.HOPE