Staff Spotlight: Della Duncan

International Program Leader

What position do you hold at Global Routes? What has been your career path so far?

Della Duncan Global Routes International Program Leader

Della: I was a Global Routes program leader for the Belize program this past summer. My career path has all been in the field of "out of the classroom education."

I have worked as a violence prevention coordinator, a residential programs leader, and a leadership games and activities facilitator.

My career interests are in the areas of education, empowerment, cross cultural communication, and leadership and working with Global Routes has been wonderful, because it has allowed me to explore all of these areas at the same time.

Did you volunteer abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?

Della: I took a gap year between high school and college to study abroad in Sweden and then in college, I was able to study abroad in both Mexico and Cuba.

I was inspired to live abroad for many reasons, but primarily, I wanted to learn new languages, gain new perspectives, and make long-lasting friends around the world.

What is your favorite aspect of Global Routes' programs?

Della: One of my favorite aspects of Global Routes programs is how local leaders in the host countries are partners in the home stay experiences and service projects.

This ensures that local communities are involved and that the projects truly benefit those they are mean to serve.

What's the best story you've heard of a volunteer's experience with Global Routes?

Della: Right before my group came to Belize this summer, one host family had a visit from a former Global Routes volunteer and her father.

Even though the student's program was several years ago, the connection she had to the community was so strong that she kept in touch and decided to spend her summer with her father teaching at the local school.

Any tips for someone considering their first volunteer trip abroad?

Della: Be kind and gentle to yourself throughout the process and articulate what you need to those around you so they can know how you would like support, your team believes in you and wants you to have fun and achieve your goals!