We are thrilled to welcome Katie Mayernik back to VISIONS, where she will direct the British Virgin Islands program!
For almost 30 years, VISIONS has offered service programs that have had an impact on communities around the world. We are proud of the work that has been done in all of our locations, and each year we are inspired by the ties that our participants have created and built upon.
While we send teams to far-reaching corners of the globe, those that choose a U.S. program are often surprised by the experience that they have right here in this country. VISIONS offers programs in Alaska, two Montana Indian Reservations—the Blackfeet and Northern Cheyenne—and Mississippi. These programs give the opportunity to learn and be part of important issues happening in the United States.
For anyone who knows VISIONS, they will tell you that relationships have always been central to what we do and who we are. In most of our host communities we have spent close to two decades (and in some cases almost 30 years) building relationships that have stood the test of time. We build in an intentional family-like dynamic that contributes to teen volunteers and community partners forming bonds and creating cross-cultural ties that hold strong for years to come.
What the VISIONS values say about us and about your summer, and why they’re important right now.
by: Katherine Dayton, Executive Director
In preparation for a staff retreat this past fall, I reached out to some veteran leaders to ask, “What is VISIONS to you?” This was the first step to elucidating our values and why we exist. VISIONS started 29 years ago, and while our values can be deeply felt by almost any leader or student who has been part of a program, it’s another thing to put it into words.
According to the National Women’s Business Council, 36.3% of businesses in the U.S. are women-owned. VISIONS is proud to be one of them.
VISIONS Ambassador and super-alum Sarah Yamashita wrote about her experiences and was featured in Teen Ink, a monthly magazine showcasing artwork and writing generated entirely by teenagers. It can be found in the February issue of the magazine as well as online. We're thrilled to see Sarah's article in print, especially in a publication dedicated to showcasing the abilities of teens!
Jocelyn is a high school junior from Glen Rock, NJ, who traveled to Ecuador and the Galápagos last summer and is excited to tackle VISIONS summer number two in Alaska this year! In this interview, she reflects on swimming with sea lions, life in the community of Patate, and her most satisfying service project.
Teen community service organization chooses green and socially responsible investing (SRI).
VISIONS Service Adventures has made the decision to leave its banking relationships with Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo. In part as a response to Native American tribes that are calling for divestitures of banks that are funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, VISIONS will be moving its accounts to a Bozeman, Montana-based fiduciary that specializes in environmentally and socially responsible investing.
We were deeply saddened to learn that a shining star of VISIONS veteran leaders passed away last week. John “Jack” Fields was a leader on our Alaska program the summer of 2013. Jack was a natural educator, a superb carpenter, and beloved by his students, fellow leaders, community members, and everyone at VISIONS who had the opportunity to know him.
Anna Apilado grew up in the Philippines before moving to the US when she was 11. In this alumni spotlight, she reflects on her experience in Alaska last summer—experiencing a new part of America, the value of comfortable silences, and plans for the future.