Meet Rebecca, a Montana Blackfeet member, VISIONS Dominican Republic alum, and scholarship recipient!
VISIONS Foundation provides scholarships to teenagers with financial need to be able to attend summer community service and cultural exchange programs through their partner organization, VISIONS Service Adventures. For thirty years, the foundation’s scholarship program has helped many high-achieving students experience the life-changing benefits of community service programs.
One of the scholarship recipients last summer was Rebecca Edwards, a senior from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. She attended a VISIONS program in the Dominican Republic, where she worked on community service projects that included running a local day camp and helping to construct classrooms at an elementary school. Rebecca also made wonderful connections with both the other participants and Dominican community members.
We had the opportunity to chat with Rebecca and learn more about her experience with VISIONS and her life at home:
Q: HOW DID YOU FIRST GET TO KNOW VISIONS, AND WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM OVER THE YEARS?
A: My mom introduced me to VISIONS, as she worked with them on some projects when she managed an economic development group. I saw the VISIONS teen volunteers in my community and she became good friends with them. Over the years, I became more interested in their work and began attending some of their events. Last year, I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from VISIONS Foundation to participate in a summer community service program in the Dominican Republic.
Q: TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR LIFE AT HOME.
A: I live with my mother, our rabbit, and dog in a small town on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. I enjoy spending my free time watching Friends, and anything Marvel-related. I’m a senior in high school. I’m still deciding on which college to attend in the fall, but I know I will pursue software engineering and hope to develop innovative technology that will help make the world a better place.
Q: TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE.
A: My experience in the Dominican Republic was absolutely incredible. I felt so welcomed by the other VISIONS kids and the local community. During my time there, I was able to work on lots of community service projects, such as helping to construct school classrooms and building a garden. I also had the opportunity to immerse myself in the local culture and learn more about the country’s history and traditions. I was nervous at first about being away from home and surrounded by strangers in a new country for nineteen days. But then I realized that everyone was there for the same reason – to make a difference and have a meaningful experience. It has helped me to gain a lot more confidence in myself and has made me more comfortable making new friends. I encourage anyone who has the chance to participate in a program like this to fully embrace the experience and step out of their comfort zone.
VISIONS Foundation’s scholarship program is designed to offer young people like Rebecca the chance to experience the transformative power of community service programs. By providing financial aid and scholarships, VISIONS Foundation expands upon the high-impact work already performed by its partner organization, VISIONS Service Adventures. The Foundation recognizes that financial need should not be a barrier to these experiences, and provides scholarships to make the programs accessible to everyone. They understand the importance of investing in the future leaders of the world, and they believe that these programs will inspire the next generation of changemakers.
The Foundation’s scholarship program is a testament to their commitment to expanding opportunities for young people, and their support has enabled many students to contribute to communities around the world while also gaining valuable skills and experiences. Thanks to VISIONS Foundation’s scholarship program, Rebecca and many other young people have had the chance to participate in life-changing community service programs.
If you would like to support VISIONS Foundation’s efforts to expand opportunities for young people, you can make a donation on their website. Your donation will help ensure that more students like Rebecca can participate in community service programs and gain valuable skills and experiences that will benefit them for a lifetime.