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Community Servant, Healer, Teacher

Some children want to serve their communities. These

community service traits are often identifiable at an early

age. They are the healers, the middle school kids who volunteer

at the hospital; or they are the teachers, the high school

kids who tutor elementary school children in their spare time;

they are the kids who want to help the world in some way.

A variety of programs tap into these special altruistic

qualities; programs that validate these children’s capabilities

and give them the confidence and power to contribute and

give back to their communities. This section contains programs

that serve the community, the country, the world, and

the environment.

If a teenager is interested in working in community service,

then the Sidwell Friends’ Community Service Programs may

be the right choice for this child. Landmark Volunteers is

an exceptional program in which a child can work to preserve

America’s landmarks; it also provides a youth with insight

into the history that surrounds that landmark.


Eric Werner, Director

1113 South Allen Street

State College, PA 16801

(814) 867-7000

QUICK TAKE: A program in which your child can combine

community service, the exploration of the world and other

cultures, and camping. Children will get to feel the essence of

community at the same time as they help people and are introduced

to a new and exciting culture. Staff leaders come

from all walks of life and have extraordinary résumés.

AGE REQUIREMENT: 15–18 (except programs in New Zealand

and Fiji, 14–18)

FEES: Vary by location. The programs usually run between two

and four weeks in the summer.

BACKGROUND: Founded in 1988, these programs are located

in a variety of locations, including Costa Rica, France, Ecuador,

Puerto Rico, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Bolivia/Peru, Fiji Islands/

New Zealand, and Yucatan/Mexico. Quebec and the Pacific

Northwest are all geared to providing students with a firsthand

look at the life and culture of another country.

DESCRIPTION: The kids either live in a home with a family or

in facilities within a community. They work on community

service projects to help people of the country. As the kids

help to restore and build communities, they also make new

friends and get to travel and learn the culture of the area. The

kids are given time to explore and participate in activities

appropriate to the location. Some offer snorkeling and swimming,

while others have hiking and kayaking.

OUR TAKE: This is a wonderful experience for any teenager!

Your child has the chance to see a completely different world

through the eyes of the family with whom he or she is staying

and to learn the language and culture of the country. The

program offers high school credit, which is always impressive

on your kid’s high school transcript. But what I find most

impressive are the values of the program. Kids will learn to

understand that these people lead quality lives with limited

material possessions. The program provides perspective,

camaraderie, and an experience that will stay with children

throughout their lives.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: If your kid has an interest in helping

the community and an interest in the environment, have them

take a look at the Web site to see if any location interests them.

Transportation is provided from local airports.