On Friday, September 29th, students from Excelsior Academy at NFA – North celebrated their trip to Ecuador and began fundraising for their next opportunity in Cambodia.

Excelsior Academy students are learning, volunteering, and traveling with Global to Local, a program that believes by immersing students in another culture to volunteer for positive social change, they will be better prepared to look critically at their own community and work to make it a better place. Global to Local is an award-winning global service-learning program at Excelsior Academy in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District.  The program provides students with an opportunity to learn about an authentic community need in a foreign country, then use the knowledge, skills and dispositions gained during travel to act as Project Managers for a community impact project in our city of Newburgh.

Leading up to their summer 2016 trip to Ecuador, students followed the timeline below to prepare for a meaningful experience during their trip, while also learning how the culmination of their experience can impact their hometown.

Year One (2014-15):  Students were invited to develop an understanding of community service through participation in and reflection upon local volunteer experiences.  At the end of year one, students were expected to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the issues facing their local community and present research on a self-selected issue.

Year Two (2015-16):   Students have continued local volunteer work.  During the summer, they corresponded virtually with educators traveling to Ecuador and Galapagos.

Year Three (2016-17):   All Excelsior students will fundraise to pay for student service-learning in Ecuador.  Students will continue local volunteer work, and interested students will apply for the international service-learning component of Global to Local.

Earlier in the day, sophomores received notice that they were accepted into the program and began their focus on Cambodia.

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