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.
It’s a good and fair question, and we do our best to answer it with you. Everyone benefits if your summer program is the right fit for you. If you’re in the right place, happy and fulfilled, that energy will seep into everything you do and everyone you’re with: other kids on the program, your leaders, and community members.
During the summer of 2016, VISIONS Northern Passage students worked in partnership with the Northern Cheyenne Fire Department in Montana. The teens completed a 32’ x 40’ garage that will house the Green Buffalo Fire Truck, serving Muddy Creek District and residents between the towns of Lame Deer and Busby.
VISIONS Montana Blackfeet 2016 students used their new construction skills to improve access for elders in our host community of Browning. On one of the projects the teen volunteers demolished a run-down ramp and constructed a new 32’ long wheelchair ramp in its place.
Participants on VISIONS Northern Cheyenne 2016 program helped make several improvements at Little Eagle Headstart, which serves children and families in the tiny reservation town of Busby, Montana.
This summer, VISIONS Alaska students built two wood structures using different construction techniques. Both projects provided support to elders in the Tetlin community.
Talk about service with a view! In the village of Huaynaccolca, VISIONS Peru worked with community members to complete phase one of an 8000 sq. ft. schoolhouse that will serve rural children.
This summer was all about water for VISIONS Nicaragua 2016. And that meant moving a lot of dirt. Our local partners made great use of the energy and extra hands made available by the VISIONS crew to complete service projects that improved the quality of water in our host community and the surrounding valley.
Teen volunteers in the Dominican Republic have been carrying the torch this month on a 25-year tradition of VISIONS work in this wonderfully vibrant Caribbean nation. Along with our partner organization, the Lions Club, kids broke ground on a new school in the community of San Luis. The large school we previously constructed in San Luis is now filled to capacity, and hundreds of kids in the immediate area can't attend classes until this new building is completed. (Read a related article, here.)
We're proud of everything the group is accomplishing, and look forward to hearing their stories and recollections of the program soon! The program wraps up tomorrow, and next summer's high school students will pick up where this group leaves off.