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Youth International Asia Volunteer Program
John T. Griffith, Sep-Dec 2008. I spent 6 years in the Air Force. I am from the Boston suburbs, studied engineering at Northeastern University and worked at a handful of companies before changing my career to follow my passion. I am now a personal coach and yoga instructor and give people the tools to transform their lives.
GO: Why did you decide to volunteer abroad with Youth International?
John: Because rather than stay in just one area of Asia, they travelled all over and the Youth International program spanned across different countries and many cities. I also wanted to go to the meditation retreat in India. I loved the element of home-stays and really being embedded in the culture, rather than simply staying in hostels.
GO: Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.
John: We did a lot of teaching English to children, which was really fun because we could play games with them. We also built walls and structures and gardened.
GO: What made this volunteer abroad experience unique and special?
John: The thing that made it most special was the opportunity to stay in the homes of locals. I met some of the kindest and happiest people in the world. And they didn't speak a word of English! Yet somehow we were able to effectively communicate with gestures and grunts and smiles. I learned so much about what's truly important in life and the experience of being so deep in a culture is something you simply cannot get when travelling alone.
GO: How has this experience impacted your future?
John: I decided to leave my career as an engineer and start a business following my passion: www.mindempower.com. I am now a personal coach and also teach yoga and meditation. After seeing people who were so happy, and yet had no money or possessions, I realized that money really doesn't make you happy and it's more important to help people and make an impact in the world.
About Youth International
Youth International has been offering unique volunteer and educational programs abroad since 1997. Youth International offers each program for 3 months two times per year, once in the fall and once in the spring. The South America program allows volunteers to explore Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador; and the Asia program takes participants to India, Thailand and Nepal. (The program to Africa is currently suspended due to safety concerns.)
Youth International programs allow volunteers to learn about themselves and a new culture while having the adventure of a lifetime! Programs focus on first-hand educational experiences, cultural immersion, and volunteer service work. Youth International participants are able to become globally conscious citizens with a new perspective on life. Take this unique opportunity to experience a new region of the world and push yourself to new limits!