Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Ethan, Reilly and Ethan
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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Ethan, Reilly and Ethan

In Rustic Spirit Spotlights we highlight young changemakers who are doing great work in their local communities.

The following students are helping others and creating a positive impact. At Rustic Pathways we are honored to recognize them!

Ethan Li
Age 15
Norman North High School
Norman, Oklahoma

When the pandemic impacted education, social abilities, and mental health of children, Ethan and some friends founded a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides small-size online enrichment classes to elementary school students across the nation.

The original courses that allow for one-on-one interaction are created by team members and include classes like nanotechnology, art history, and first aid. In two years Ethan’s team has grown from 5 to 17 members and the organization has impacted the lives of 940 children across 26 states and even internationally in China and Canada.

Ethan enjoys STEM, especially math and physics. With a passion for modern physics, he’s considering a major in this field. Ethan aspires to be a researcher/scientist in the future. As a naturally curious person, Ethan enjoys exploring the world and sharing knowledge with others.  He’s part of a race-kayaking team and plays the violin.

Ethan advises others who think they have a good idea to make it happen. Before long, that seed will become a tree.

Reilly Bergin
Age 15
Milton High School
Milton, Massachusetts

Reilly is an ambassador for Project 351, a service and leadership program that’s dedicated to guiding and inspiring youth in Massachusetts to make a difference. The program partners with many organizations for different causes. Among these, Reilly helps lead spring service, a clothing drive where she collected about 76 13-gallon bags of clothing in 2021, and fall service, food drives to donate to a local food pantry.

In addition to Project 351, Reilly volunteers often with her family, girl scout troop, and church. She participates in everything ranging from food packing and serving, to sorting clothes for foster children.

In college, Reilly plans to major in psychology or education and may do a minor in political science. She aspires to one day work for a government agency to help women and children in education, health or public services. In her free time, loves to sew, run and play field hockey, do community service, and spend time with her family.

To others wanting to make an impact in their community, Reilly advises to stay true to oneself. Everyone has their own style!

Ethan Morley
Age 18
Libby Middle High School
Libby, Montana

Ethan goes out of his way to make others feel welcomed, loved and included. He advocates for mental health awareness and suicide and bully prevention. In addition to making sure all students know there’s someone to talk to, Ethan offers bracelets, stickers, signs, flowers, or anything that’ll make someone’s day better.

In college Ethan plans to focus on music or psychology. He enjoys music and the smile it puts on peoples’ faces, and would also like to help people on a professional level. In his free time Ethan enjoys hiking, hunting and fishing.

Ethan emphasizes that as long as just one person appreciates it, it’s all worth it.

Nominate a Student

Do you know a student doing valuable work that deserves to be recognized? Nominate them here! Are you making an impact? Tell us about your work here.

Make Change

Interested in creating change in your community? Check out our guide and learn how to make an impact as a student.

At Rustic Pathways, our goal is to make positive contributions to the communities we visit through responsible travel operations and community service projects that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone

Kayla joined Rustic Pathways in 2020 as the Director of Special Projects. She has nearly a decade of experience in communications and marketing. At Rustic Pathways, Kayla is dedicated to helping high school students discover their passion for exploring the world through summer travel programs. She drives impactful initiatives to empower students through meaningful travel experiences worldwide. Based in San Jose, California, Kayla loves the outdoors, live music and travel.