Tyler was awarded a Farther Foundation scholarship and chose to participate in a Visions Service Adventures program in the Dominican Republic, where he would learn the local language and culture and provide service in the community.
Tyler describes himself as a shy individual, but throughout the course of his time in the Dominican, he came out of his shell, made several significant new friendships and found that he was often the bridge between members of his traveling group. But his fellow program participants were not the only new friends he found:
“The most surprising relationship created was between me and the Dominicans because I have very bad Spanish speaking and comprehension skills. That did not stop the Dominicans though; they continuously spoke to me and tried to create ways to communicate. In fact, a deaf mute girl, through constant attempts eventually got me to understand and I became friends with her. A young Dominican girl who really wanted to keep in contact with me does, and despite the language barrier, we still find a way to have conversations. I still converse with several people from the trip.”
Our students have very few experiences beyond the confines of their own neighborhoods, and so despite their inherent curiosity and eagerness to learn it is not surprising that they also have a lot of apprehension when arriving in a new and different environment. In the end, Tyler, like most of our scholarship recipients, had his risk taking rewarded with a greater confidence and sense of self that will help propel him to a brighter future.
Follow our work more closely by subscribing to this blog or liking “Farther Foundation” on Facebook. Thank you for your support.
Farther Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization providing scholarships to low-income students to inspire them to reach their highest aspirations through educational travel experiences.