Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Jose, Audrey and Koby
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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Jose, Audrey and Koby

A strong ‘Rustic Spirit’ shines in young changemakers around the world. They prove themselves to be community-oriented and positive impact-minded through their actions.

They inspire you and motivate you to get involved in your community. Teens with Rustic Spirit assist others in need and brighten people’s days through acts of service.

We want to recognize and celebrate these individuals. The following students embody Rustic Spirit and are making a positive impact wherever they go.

Jose Alvarez
Age 16
Mcallen High School
McAllen, Texas

As a participant in the National Honor Society, Jose spearheaded the “Dear Santa” Secret Elves Project, responding to letters from students with special needs to fulfill their Christmas wishes. The project involved publicizing and collecting donations, resulting in the fulfillment of every child’s request. As a former Texas Youth of the Year, Jose organized his city’s inaugural youth-led mayoral forum, where teens covered topics like COVID-19 and youth programs.

Jose plans to double major in philosophy (pre-law) and psychology. His career aspirations are driven by a transformative summer internship at a law firm and his community-focused extracurriculars. Whether as a political official or attorney, Jose is determined to create change in his community. For fun, he enjoys playing tennis, doing community service, studying law, watching documentaries, and spending time with friends and family.

Jose advises to be fearless. He says, “find a mentor or organization who will support you in every way possible to ensure that you have a strong foundation for success. Even though anxiety may be present, the person who holds us back the most is ourselves. You can create change in your community, by simply sharing a smile, encouraging others, and consistently being a positive voice.”

Audrey Storms
Age 15
Scio High School
Scio, Oregon

Audrey is leading the annual Logger Pride Day, a crucial part of her town’s Lamb and Wool Fair preparation. Formerly a group effort, Audrey is planning and executing the event on her own. On this day, students clean schools, businesses, and even nearby homes. Audrey secures sponsors for matching t-shirts and ensures tools, drinks, music, and a barbecue are ready for the event.

In college, Audrey plans to major in finance to become a financial advisor in the future. Audrey is on the varsity volleyball team, the Oregon High School equestrian team, she shows and takes care of horses.

Audrey says, “you can always find places that need help. Whether it’s big or small there is such a great need for service throughout the world. Even the littlest things can make a significant difference for your community.”

Koby Fenters
Age 19
Aynor High School
Mullins, South Carolina

Koby dedicates himself to his community as a volunteer firefighter. In his role as a first responder, he attends to a variety of calls, including fires, accidents, medical emergencies, and lift-assistance. Koby also volunteers at the local recreation center, where he helps children during sports practices.

Koby plans to attend an electrical lineman or electrician technical school. He’s also considering the SC National Guard. In his free time, Koby enjoys fishing.

Koby says, “helping people not only makes others feel good, but it also makes you feel good. Find a way to make a difference in somebody’s life.”

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.