When my 15 year old approached me about volunteering abroad, I must say I was apprehensive. The world is changing everyday in so many unpredictable ways. However, I wasn’t raised to fear the world. I was taught to be bold and to work towards my dreams with passion. Despite the craziness we’ve seen worldwide, I don’t want any of my children to be afraid to explore the world. There’s so much more than the boxes we live in and we only get one chance to make the most of our time here. That said, I can’t just send them out into the world with reckless abandon either....so I researched...ALOT....trying to find a program which I thought would help my teen develop an appreciation for other cultures. One that would help guide, without stifling creativity and would encourage growth and independence. I went through countless reviews by parents and participants of many programs. Global Leadership Adventures seemed to be a perfect fit for my young, new to be, world traveler. A great balance of service, culture, and adventure. From day one, a GLA representative was available to answer any questions, to help guide us through the process. We were well informed as to what would be required, timelines, deadlines....any and all of the behind the scenes stuff to make this trip a reality. I can’t say enough about the staff who help me along the way! My teen had never even flown stateside alone...so I was rather concerned about an international flight...especially with layovers and connecting flights. However, our GLA reps had completely prepared us for how things would go, right down to filling out the customs form. Thank you Jenica!! You were a huge help and comfort to me! I’m pretty sure Max appreciated all of the preflight info too! 🙂 After much fundraising, some gracious family members, and some very gracious scholarships from GLA, and a foundation who believes wholeheartedly in the importance of what GLA provides to teens ... the Live Like Ally Foundation, 3 weeks in Thailand would become a reality! It has inspired Max to want to do more. It has provided a solid foundation to encourage growth for a different future. One where boundaries become blurred and opportunities are more than just dreams. Where teens who have been “privileged” can appreciate the little things. I don’t mean privileged as in rich, but in the sense of not worrying about where their next meal is coming from, or being able to attend school instead of working as a child or teen to help support the family. There is so much to learn in this world, but many are too afraid to learn. Too afraid to promote change. Changes don’t have to be global. The children, the families, the communities our GLA teens are supporting....it doesn’t take much to inspire 1, who could then inspire 1 more. Before long, that 1, turns into countless numbers of people who have been inspired in different ways to accomplish different things. I am grateful my teen has the desire to want to do more. To help others. To take a chance on the world and believe that it can be better. GLA as been an amazing group for my teen. I hope others will see the importance of stepping outside of the box...outside of their comfort zone, and be the change.