Staff Spotlight: Colby Robinson

US Operations Manager
An advocate for global mission, Colby has dedicated her life to raising awareness of impoverished countries by immersing herself in local environments across the world. Since 2011 she has lived extensively in Europe, Africa and Asia. She has first-hand experience hosting volunteers, participating on projects, overseeing destinations and is eager to encourage global participants to join communities close to her heart!

Colby Robinson

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite memory was the first weekend trip I took with the volunteers to Busua Beach in Ghana. Nine of us took the local transport down to Cape Coast where we took the tour of the slave castles, Kakum National Park and went on to spend time catching some rays on the beach of Busua.

We stayed at a local beach resort enjoying some drinks made in fresh coconuts and conversation! We ended up sitting in the sun too long and had some bad burns from the sun so we hid in the shade and sang songs from our childhood and helped prepare some of the local foods for a group of tourists and went to visit some of the staffs family homes!

The weekend trip was much more than any of us anticipated and now years later some of us still communicate with the families we met and laugh together chatting about it! The weekend trips truly bring volunteers closer together as they encounter unexpected adventure!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I am an ambitiously honest woman full of ideas. Working with Plan My Gap Year has allowed me to fulfill so many of my dreams!

I truly enjoy teaching in any aspect whether its in front of a classroom of children teaching English or its venturing through a local market educating volunteers on the culture of the country! I have found a profound patience for almost any circumstance and a true passion for understanding culture across this world.

PMGY is a company that sticks to their word and I love that! All of us; the staff sitting at a desk in the UK, coordinators in country, translators at the project, those changing bed sheets or preparing your food WE do our best to ensure volunteers are happy and feel fulfillment!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Shona Coy volunteered in Ghana in 2014 at the Kumasi Children's Home - orphanage project - where she found her place in many children's hearts. Shona has a particular love for children with disabilities and was Ghana's first disabled project volunteer; it was because of her that there is a disabled project!

Over two years later this incredible woman still has connections with the children in KCH and is constantly coming up with ideas to improve their education by raising awareness and funds! After hearing from the head teacher at the orphanage school about their lack of resources she hosted a grand ball that raised a 1,000 GBP for the children she fell in love with years ago.

PMGY volunteers have the chance to make impacts on the location they are participating at and truly can create long standing relationships!

This trip can be a few short weeks or it can be something that will be with you for years to follow. Shona will return to Ghana, yet again, to give her donations, see her 'kids' and help rebuild classrooms in the Kumasi Children's Home!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

As a coordinator that lives in country and hosts volunteers I have been able to experience first hand the impact from PMGY!

Colby Robinson

Our company focuses on the local communities and truly gives all it has to improve the environment that the volunteers are participating in. The fees that are collected are given to the local staff whom then provide to improve the schools, orphanage, wildlife, medical facilities and more! You can really count on not only your time improving those in country, but your financial contributions as well.

I am especially proud that we have such long-standing relationships with each destination we work with. Annually, PMGY personally visits each location to see what areas can be impacted most by our volunteers and constantly works to provide the best possible experience for everyone! PMGY truly takes interest in not only the projects, but the local staff members' lives/families!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Plan My Gap Year dedicates its time to offering support from start to finish for volunteers. We spend time to ensure that no matter the circumstance we are available to provide assistance and create the best outcome possible.

I believe we will continue to be a successful company because this is our goal; providing an exceptional experience for our volunteers! We truly care!