UPDATES ON giving BACK (AND AN ask for HELP!!)
Today I want to talk about FLYTE, this website’s nonprofit arm.
Over the last few months, I haven’t kept everyone as up to date about the organization as I would like. I apologize for that and pledge that, starting today, that will change.
Though quiet, we’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes, improving our web site and strategy, and creating new partnerships so that FLYTE becomes a a lot more integral part of this web site and community.
First, as a refresher, what is FLYTE?
The foundation for learning and youth travel education (FLYTE) supplies logistical, planning, and financial support to high schools and teachers who want to take their students overseas to give them a real-world context for what they are learning in school — think checking out the D-Day beaches in France or learning about sustainable development in a rainforest in Costa Rica. I started it in 2015 because I believe not enough kids get the chance to travel, see the world, experience other cultures, and realize the functional side to their education!
While lots of affluent school districts send students on overseas educational trips, schools and teachers in underserved areas have little or no opportunity to offer their students this experience. Their schools and communities lack the resources to make such a trip happen. I wanted to create an organization that helps people in forgotten parts of the country, because everyone should have a chance to see and learn about the world!
Thanks to you, FLYTE has raised over $88,000 USD. Last year, we sent a group of students from Atlanta to Mexico and another group from Washington, DC, to Cuba (and we’re preparing for a third trip in June). These students had an remarkable time and the trips had a profound impact on them. Here’s what a couple of the students said about their experience:
“This trip indicates so much to me because having the opportunity to travel outside of the country and my community (an opportunity a lot of peers don’t get to have) is remarkable and it really helped open my eyes and see that there is so much a lot more outside of Atlanta.” – Nokio, best Academy student
“I would’ve never thought I would have gotten out of my city, where people hurt and do bad things to one another. It makes me want to travel and learn the history of every country in the world!” –Tija, junior at Anacostia High School
So, today, I want to talk about a few other changes with FLYTE:
First, we’ve created a volunteer section on the FLYTE website. now we’ve created a space where volunteers can help grow the organization with us. I love the passion this community has for FLYTE and I want to better channel that into action. You can check out this page to see our current volunteer needs.
Second, we’re trying to find interns. We need help. We’ve tried to do it all alone, but we need some help growing FLYTE. If you live in the nyc area and are fluent in social media, we’d love to have you! We’re a licensed 501(c)(3) and you can get an internship that counts for college credit. You’ll work in my office in nyc with my executive director and the rest of the Nomadic Matt team.
Third, this web site now has a dedicated FLYTE page where you can see all the updates and information about the program, school trips, and anything else FLYTE related. moving forward, FLYTE is going to become a a lot more integral part of this website. Let’s work together as community to show a lot more kids the world (especially in today’s environment where people want to close borders rather than open them)! This page is a work in progress and we’ll be expanding it over the next few weeks!
Fourth, we’re starting weekly emails to donors that will update them on the school, kids, organization, and everything in between. This is something that must have happened a long time ago, and I just never got my act together. My executive director and I are now making it a priority to send out weekly emails to you, so that you will always know what is going on in the organization and the kids, and how your donation is being used.
Fifth, we’ve moved to a new donation platform that will allow us to host donations ideal on our web site (no a lot more going to another website), minimize fees, and accept recurring donations. This new system will make sure that it’s much easier to donate and that there are fewer fees when you do! It will be live by tomorrow!
Finally, I need your help again. We’re sending a group of students from Excelsior Academy in Newburgh, NY, to Quito, Ecuador in June! The students will volunteer at Casa Victoria, a grassroots community betterment program located in a struggling section of Quito, and work with local students in an after-school program. Not only will they get to experience another culture, country, and continent but they will also give back while there.
Newburgh, once a thriving manufacturing center on the Hudson River, has faced deindustrialization and failed urban renewal attempts that have left the town struggling both financially and socially. Complicating the matter, the Newburgh school district is located in what the FBI has continuously named one of the ten a lot of hazardous cities per capita in the United States.
As Excelsior teacher Christine McCartney says, “At Excelsior Academy, we strive to create global citizens who recognize their power to enact change at both the local and global level.”
Here are the students talking about why this is so crucial to them — and what this trip indicates to them:
Those who donate a lot more than $10 will get some amazing swag:
$50 – For donations of at least this amount, I’m using my e-books how to show English overseas and The utmost guide to travel Hacking, and my guides to NYC, Paris, Bangkok, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Thailand, and Hong Kong.
$100 – For donations of at least this amount, you will get the e-books and city guides plus a signed copy of the print book how to travel the world on $50 a Day and a FLYTE t-shirt (US shipping only).
$250 – For donations of at least this amount, you will get all of the above plus an hour of travel planning with me, a souvenir from Ecuador, and a thank you card from the students!
If everyone donated just $10, we could fund the entire trip – and lots of a lot more like it – ideal away. The a lot more we raise, the a lot more we can help these students and others like them.
Ten bucks isn’t a lot — it’s one less Chipotle meal, a couple of beers, one Old Fashioned, one Uber ride. It’s not much in the grand scheme of things.
If you can’t donate, you can also help by sharing this campaign on Facebook and Twitter, and by emailing your friends, family, cousins, pen pals, coworkers – any individual – and letting them know about this. help us spread the word about this cause so we can change as lots of lives as possible. The a lot more people know about this, the better!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your past, present, and future support of this program!
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NOTE: We are a 501(c)3 charity so your donations are tax exempt. (US residents only)
Book Your Trip: Logistical ideas and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a low-cost flight by using Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches web sites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t forget travel Insurance
Travel insurance will secure you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s detailed protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it lots of times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
SafetyWing (best for everyone)
Insure My trip (for those over 70)
Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)
Ready to book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.