Trip of a lifetime

Empowering students through summer travel experiences

"I worked to save up for a cross-country trip as a graduation present to myself. Those 35 days on the road are what really opened my eyes." - Lizzie Dinnigan, Author and Travel Writer

Growing up in NYC, my family spent summers at a bungalow colony in Monticello, N.Y., at the heart of the Catskills Borscht Belt. I believe this time spent in the mountains was when I developed a taste for freely exploring my surroundings and a comfortability with being away from home for an extended period of time. We later took family vacations all over the Northeast, and each Spring Break was spent in Fort Lauderdale visiting my grandparents. I was no stranger to travel, and always had the urge to venture farther. When I was three, I was obsessed with a puzzle map of the U.S. My dad would flip the pieces over so only the cardboard was showing, and I could still identify each state by its shape. This love of the states always stayed with me. I worked throughout my teen years to save up for a cross-country roadtrip as a college graduation present to myself. Those 35 days on the road are what really opened my eyes. I was intrigued at how the topography and landscape was so distinct within state borders, the lightening storms out West were fierce and frightening, each National Park had it's own personality and beauty, and time moved slower in rural towns. We were so uninhibited and adventurous – arriving at rustic campsites after dark and not realizing we were sleeping exposed and out in the open in bear territory, eating spicy crawfish and gumbo in New Orleans, hiking in the Rockies to gem-colored ponds. Traveling still excites me, and I am determined to pass that desire on to my two sons. – Lizz Dinnigan, author and travel writer

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    "I may be multiracial and I may be living in the ghetto but what I am going to do with my life is going to be historical."
    "I may be multiracial and I may be living in the ghetto but what I am going to do with my life is going to be historical."

    Alphonso

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    “This trip made me realize that there’s more to the world than the South Bronx.”
    “This trip made me realize that there’s more to the world than the South Bronx.”

    Selina

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    "The trip has taught me to have confidence in myself and believe that anything can come true."
    "The trip has taught me to have confidence in myself and believe that anything can come true."

    Madelyn

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