Trip of a Lifetime is a student-run 501(C)3 organization that empowers students to be catalysts for change in their communities through summer travel experiences. Since its inception, the organization has raised over $750,000 and has sent seventy nine students on these life-changing trips.
The organization has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CBS Radio, Poughkeepsie Journal, 914 Inc Article and The New York Post.
Did You Know: Trip of a Lifetime has been named a recommended summer opportunity by the New York City Department of Education?
I vividly remember stepping onto the flight to San Francisco. It was a cool damp morning and knots were churning in my stomach. I was uncertain what the next twenty days would hold; I had never been away from my parents for more than one week and the thought of being cross-country frightened me. At the same time, I was excited to start a new chapter in my life: a chapter of self-confidence and independence. This excitement overshadowed my fears and before I knew it, I was at an altitude of twenty thousand feet, ready to begin my trip. That airplane ride represented a journey of my life; once I set foot in San Francisco, my life changed forever.
San Francisco was the first destination of a teen tour I went on in the summer of 2007. I could spend hours describing all the sites and sounds of my journey but during the course of twenty days, I was able to gain a new perspective of the world and learn more about myself than I ever had before. Two places I visited really stood out to me: the Golden Gate Bridge and the Grand Canyon. Visiting The Golden Gate Bridge was truly a metaphorical journey, representing a passageway; as a bridge connects two landmasses, my trip became a connector, enabling me to become who I am today. Also visiting the Grand Canyon expanded my horizons, further emphasizing the importance of seizing every opportunity given; you can only change the future, not the past
Besides myself, there were thirty-nine other teenagers on my trip. Through my interactions with these teenagers, I was able to gain self-confidence and leadership skills. Before my travels, many of my friends knew me as the “quiet kid” in the bunch; I would usually let others dictate my decisions. By the end of those twenty days, I learned to become more of a leader and take control of situations. These skills stuck with me after the trip and gave me the confidence to become both Junior and Senior Class President of my high school. Being a leader is always something I have wanted to do because I knew I would be able to shape the lives of others.
When I talked about my experience with my family and friends, I realized how profoundly this trip affected me and I began to think of ways to spread the positive benefits of travel to those who are less fortunate. As a result, I decided to form my own nonprofit organization with eight of my friends called Trip of a Lifetime. In the past four years, Trip of a Lifetime has grown to the organization it is today, with the help and support of an energetic group of co-founders, board members, and sponsors.