Projects Abroad, a New York-based nonprofit that recruits thousands of young volunteers worldwide to volunteer in neighboring countries, says increasing numbers of high schoolers are choosing to volunteer abroad this summer. Officials at the agency said they expect almost 1,000 students to take part this summer in the group's "High School Specials," which are structured programs for high school students.
"Service work is becoming a standard part of high school curriculum and many students are interested in performing this service work overseas," said Thomas Pastorius Jr., vice president of Projects Abroad, which was founded 20 years ago. "Last summer we had more than 650 high school students in our two-week programs and this year, we are expected almost 1,000."
He said young people are drawn to programs that help care for other children, and engage in projects that repair houses, paint schools, promote human rights and protect ecosystems. More than 40 programs are scheduled this coming summer, including in Ghana, Jamaica, Costa Rica, South Africa and China. It's not inexpensive; to take part, fees start around $2,000 per person, not including airfare. It does include accommodations, food, airport transfers, full travel and medical insurance and other things such as visa support, if applicable.
For more information on Projects Abroad's high-school programs, visit www.projects-abroad.org/projects/2-week-high-school-specials/