At Rustic Pathways, we’re working to create a world where all people are connected through a shared humanity and all decisions are made with a global perspective. In light of today’s violence related to race and the unique political situation in the United States, now more than ever, educating and building awareness for the next generation of change makers is critical.
This year, we’re proud to offer 13 fully-funded scholarships for our second-annual By Invitation Only program: Race In America. This program pulls aspiring change makers together to explore the history and current climate of race and racism in the United States. As they so thoughtfully demonstrated in their applications and interviews, there may not be a topic more important or more pressing. We are inspired by the work these teens are already doing and thrilled to help them translate what they learn during the program to continued action and impact in their communities.
After receiving nearly 250 applications, we were blown away not only by the response to this program but the incredible applicant pool of teens from around the world. To each and every one of you who applied, thank you! You have given us an immense amount of hope for the future and the inspiring power of your generation. The application process confirmed our belief that your generation will change the world for the better and we’re more inspired than ever to help young change makers like you take action.
Applicants were asked to write why they should be considered for Race in America. Their responses were so powerful that we wanted to share a few examples.
“We do not have an option to wait. I want to join this program because I believe you need to know your history in order to move forward. Race directly impacts a person’s entire life, how they are treated, who they will grow to be, their work, their income, and their happiness. It is my obligation to fight for my family, friends, community, and the generations to come. This new movement is inevitable and I want to be a part of it.”
“Memories of my forefathers singing ‘We Shall Overcome’ makes me question why I still live in circumstances where chanting ‘No Justice, No Peace’ is normal.”
“As a Muslim, I am taught that God created us all equal and that all must stand up against racism and injustice. For me, fighting racism and bigotry is not just right, it is my religious duty. I am more determined than ever to do what I can to ensure that our nation truly has “liberty and justice for all”.”
Rachel joined Rustic in 2013 and led programs for three summers in Costa Rica, Peru, and Ghana. She’s also led programs in Fiji and Tanzania. A graduate of the University of Vermont with degrees in sociology and Spanish, Rachel focuses her love for travel, writing, and her unquenchable curiosity of our natural world as Rustic’s Brand Engagement Manager. Based in Tahoe, CA, Rachel is a talented ceramicist and lover of the outdoors.