Alumni Spotlight | Impact Ambassadors: Madi, Cate, and Sydney
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Alumni Spotlight | Impact Ambassadors: Madi, Cate, and Sydney

During this past winter of 2015, our non-profit organization Rustic Pathways Foundation launched the biggest fundraiser to date. Nearly 170 staff, alumni, and friends volunteered their time to fundraise for causes they felt passionately about — resulting in over $120,000 raised. Included in that total is $40,000 raised from 40 of our awesome Impact Ambassadors.

As part of the Rustic Pathways Foundation, our Impact Ambassador program is an opportunity for the most dedicated and passionate of Rustic students to spread the word and raise money for powerful initiatives.

This month, we would like to congratulate Madi, Cate, and Sydney for being a few of our top fundraisers and highlight them as incredible assets to our Impact Ambassadors program.

Project: Buddhism for Social Development Action’s Education for All

Madi ultimately raised over $10,000 and was the winner of a free Rustic Pathways program from our raffle of top fundraisers. Congrats, Madi!

“The project that I currently support is Buddhism for Social Development Action’s Education for All. This project is so important to me because for every $350, a child in Cambodia gets to attend school for a year. This is something that I personally believe should be a fundamental right, and that no one should be unable to go to school. I’d love to help change that.

“I ultimately raised $10,000 for BSDA: Education for All. What I did was that I sent my online platform to everyone I know- literally EVERYONE. After this, I created an event at my local waterpark. The waterpark in my town is never open at night, so I talked to the owner about opening it up on the night of December 18 as a fundraiser. He agreed, and this fundraiser raised almost $5,000 and had around 300 guests. Advice that I would give to the other alumni would be that they need to pick a cause that they actually care about, something they are passionate about. That’s exactly what I did, and I am so incredibly proud of the fundraising I have done.”

Project: Floating Village School Project

“I have been doing Rustic Pathways trips since the summer before I started my freshman year of high school. I have always wanted to be more involved in a certain organization or project but could never find a way to do so… because really, who wants to put a 15 year old in charge of something that big? While filling out my survey on the last nights of my trips this summer with Rustic I saw a question about becoming a Rustic Impact Ambassador. I checked the box and said I was interested, and when I got home I looked more into it. This was exactly what I was looking for to have a bigger role in a project that can change so many lives!

“For anyone who wants to fundraise in the future – I say go for it! You can raise as little or as much as you want and it can still make a huge impact. It is such a good way to get others you know educated on these projects. If you have already been on one of the project trips it can be a great way to connect it back to your life at home. I raised money for a project I had never heard of until I was accepted to be an Ambassador, and I fell in love with it. Fundraising can really push yourself to see what you are capable of and what you can achieve.

“I think my keys to success were just showing people my passion to help. If I was just another person telling people about a problem in the world and asking for money, not that many of them would of listened. Instead, I personalized everything. I put up pictures of the kid, told the story of the village, and said how we are going to fix the schools problem. I was so happy to talk to people that wanted to help, even if it was only $5. I thanked them like they just donated $1,000. This made people feel like they belonged like they had a true part in changing these kids lives… because they do.”

Project: Buddhism for Social Development Action’s Education for All

“I’ve been online fundraising by advertising on social media and talking to my friends. I’ve always been leaving a decorated toilet seat on my friends’ doors with a letter explaining the project and asking for a donation.

“I think education is very important and it is often taken for granted in America because we have such easy access to it. There are kids all over the world who would love to have the opportunity to go to school like we do, so if I can help a few be able to go to school for a year, I’ll do anything to make that a reality for them.

“On my Rustic program, one of my group leaders told us that everything we do changes the world, so we can either choose to change it in a positive way or a negative way. That made me realize that I am able to change the world even if it’s in a small way. When I saw the opportunity to be a part of RPF, I thought of her words and wanted to be a part of something that would allow me to do something positive for others.

“Rustic Pathways has made me want to do something in the future that will allow me to keep making a positive impact on the world. I now want to join the Peace Corps after college or possibly join a program where I can teach school children in other countries.”


Interested in becoming an Impact Ambassador and fundraising for the Rustic Pathways Foundation? Click below to get the details.

About the Author

Emily Weiner

Marketing Coordinator

Emily is a Phoenix-area native with a journalism and photography degree from Northern Arizona University. Prior to joining Rustic Pathways in 2015, Emily lived in Tel Aviv as a journalist for Time Out Israel magazine. Her passion for creative writing and travel drives the editorial content she produces for the creative team. During her spare time, you will find her hiking camera-in-hand, eating Mexican food, exploring San Francisco, and writing for Time Out San Francisco online.