Children and Education


Savannah, GA

Those familiar with Savannah associate the historic city with Spanish moss, cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and antebellum architecture. Savannah is renowned for its Southern grandeur, but drive past the picturesque neighborhoods and you’ll soon encounter shocking impoverishment. 1 in 4 Savannah residents live in poverty, and the rate is even higher among children at over 40%. Participants on this site will engage in service with underprivileged Georgia youth by volunteering at a local high school through Operation Beacon. They’ll also serve food with Kids Cafe, a Second Harvest program which provides at-risk children with a nutritious evening meal in a safe environment. Participants will educate themselves on the nature of regional poverty through work with Step Up, Savannah and will volunteer with various other organizations supporting youth development such as the Moses Jackson Advancement Center, Urban Hope, and the Boys and Girls Club. Participants will learn throughout the week different approaches to the task of breaking a cycle of poverty by empowering the young.

Site Leaders: Lilia Briskin and Will Newell​

Site Cost: $245 before fee waiver


Beaufort, SC

If you’re enthusiastic about serving the underprivileged and eager to work with children, this site is for you! Located in the Low Country of South Carolina, Beaufort is a community known for its antebellum homes and waterfront beauty. However, many Beaufort residents are gripped by poverty and are struggling to educate their children in an overcrowded school system. During the week, participants will tutor children from Mossy Oaks Elementary School, getting to know them and serving as friends and mentors. Participants on this site make an impact on a unique community that continually confronts cyclical issues of education, race, and poverty in the South.

Site Leaders: Rashmi Bharadwaj and Shelby Niedergeses

Site Cost: $245 before fee waiver


Jackson, MS

In Mississippi, a child is abused or neglected every hour. Participants on this site will work with Methodist Children’s Homes of Mississippi and Operation Shoestring. Founded in 1896 as a traditional orphanage, Methodist Children’s Homes now ensures that children in the foster care system can grow up in a safe home. Each morning, participants will help beautify their 168-acre campus to make sure the children have the best facilities possible. In the afternoons, participants will volunteer at Operation Shoestring, an after-school program for local public school students. Participants will plan and run a Science Week, teaching middle school students about science through interactive experiments and activities.

Site Leaders: AJ Johnson, Crofton Kelly, and Rachana Krishnan

Site Cost: $245 before fee waiver


Hohenwald, TN

Since 1995, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has served as a refuge for elephants rescued from circuses, zoos, and other animal entertainment industries. Spanning over 2,700 acres, the Sanctuary provides the elephants with protected, natural habitats and a chance to live out the rest of their lives in peace. Participants will volunteer at the Sanctuary for the entirety of the week and work on projects such as landscaping, painting, and creating habitat enrichment devices. NOTE: Participants will not be interacting with the elephants directly. However, volunteers have typically been able to spot elephants at some point over the course of the week.

Site Leaders: Kyle Gavulic and Thomas Kozar

Site Cost: $230 before fee waiver


Louisville, KY

Located just outside of Louisville, Sunrise Children’s Center has been serving the community of Elizabethtown since 1869. Providing a loving home to the city’s most vulnerable children, this organization’s therapy center offers support for abused and neglected foster care kids. On site, participants will support youth by assisting in classrooms, joining them in gym periods, and doing house chores together. The first day of the week, participants will also partake in campus beautification at Uspiritus, a therapeutic foster care program for kids with emotional and educational needs. This site is unique in that participants will be split during service to work with either a female or male youth group, regrouping in the evenings to share how experiences differ by gender. Each evening the group will gather to discuss the foster care system.

Site Leaders: Olivia Arnold and Phil Dowdell

Site Cost: $235 before fee waiver


Pittsburgh, PA

In order to combat the rise of the female population in juvenile delinquent centers, Gwen’s Girls provides preventative services to girls in the Pittsburgh area. Their approach is gender-specific, targeting issues that are unique to women and girls, in order to help prevent future incarceration. Participants will work with Gwen’s Girls work towards empowering girls with effective cognitive, behavioral and interpersonal coping skills. Throughout the week participants will aid Gwen’s Girls by interacting with girls in the after-school program, cleaning, decorating, and spearheading new programs. The group will also work with Dress for Success, a company that provides women with professional clothing and job support. Lastly, the week will finish up with service at the Women’s Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh, a safe harbor for women who have experienced intimate partner violence. By the end of the week, participants will have an enriched understanding of the obstacles and joys that many girls and women face throughout their lives.

Site Leaders: Angie Liang, Kathy Qian, and Peter Abdelmessih

Site Cost: $250 before fee waiver


Huntsville, AL

Destination: Huntsville! Although the original capital of Alabama boasts some of the highest per capita incomes in the state, stubborn pockets of poverty remain. Lincoln Village Ministry is a faith-based organization founded to break the cycle of poverty and do whatever it takes for one generation to make it into the middle class. Volunteers renovate mill houses, tutor children, distribute food, and more. Participants on this site will be able to carry out the ministry’s mission of giving the gift of hope to this tight-knit community and will grow to understand how intentional community development impacts a neighborhood. Be prepared to do everything from working with kids to sorting clothes in a thrift shop to painting and demolition!

Site Leaders: Anoop Chandrashekar and Clara Leonard

Site Cost: $225 before fee waiver