Alumni Spotlight: Heather Curtis

Classically trained as an opera singer, Heather backpacked the world for two years and returned to the States with a whole new perspective. She found passion in disaster relief volunteering and has been hooked on this amazing experience ever since.

Why did you choose this program?

I love All Hands Volunteers. The organization is so welcoming, you learn so many valuable skills, you meet incredible people from all over the world who quickly become your family.

You learn things about yourself and grow in ways you never knew you could. It's the best thing I have ever been a part of in my life.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Take a chance. Jump in. This will quite possibly be the best experience of your life.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

We typically wake up at 7 am, make breakfast, and pack lunch. Before our transportation arrives at 8 am, we help team leaders to gather tools for the day. Once we arrive at the worksite, we help to set up the tools and work stations for the day.

We are currently working in Louisiana after devastating floods hit the region last August. We are now working on the finishing phase - flooring, doors, cabinets, countertops, trim, painting.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

It's quite common to fear the unknown. If traveling alone, there's also the fear of not making friends. Have no fear - you'll make fast friends soon after you arrive on base.