Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Nagwa, Alyssa and Jordyn
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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Nagwa, Alyssa and Jordyn

When students engage in meaningful community service on Rustic Pathways travel programs, small efforts add up to create a large collective impact.

But Rustic travelers aren’t the only ones who are creating change. Teens and young adults around the world are positively impacting their communities.

These students serve as role models for other young people by demonstrating that each individual can make a difference. We are celebrating these teens in Rustic Spirit Spotlights. Check out these changemakers doing amazing work!

Nagwa Fokunang
Age 16
InTech Collegiate Academy
Utah, United States

Nagwa is a go-getter who is making a positive impact by helping anyone who needs some support. She believes success is a team effort and cannot be achieved by one person. Nagwa is part of a SheTech committee that focuses on encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers, and also part of the Future Business Leaders of America.

Outside of school and extracurricular activities, Nagwa loves to travel, hang out with friends and watch Netflix and documentaries. She’s a sushi fanatic and eats it with her friends once a week. Nagwa hopes to become either a dentist or a computer forensic scientist one day.

Impact advice: Don’t change who you are. You can impact so many more people when you are genuine. Also give 110% effort; none of your hard work ever goes unnoticed!

Alyssa K. Dismuke
Age 18
St. Frederick High School
Louisiana, United States

Since 2008, Alyssa has created holiday gifts for the elderly in her community at Lagniappe Skilled Nursing Home and more recently has worked to include another nursing home in this project. She started this project when she was just four years old and saw a need to share some love in her community. Alyssa is also the president of the St. Vincent de Paul chapter at her school. The chapter helps the less fortunate by raising money to pay bills, and provides food or clothing.

In her free time, Alyssa watches documentaries, loves to play the piano and enjoys listening to classical music. She also loves to power-lift and play sports–she’s nationally ranked in the shot-put and is currently ranked 2nd in Louisiana! Alyssa plans to major in pre-law and aspires to become a divorce or criminal lawyer.

Impact advice: Positive impacts do not always have to be seen or heard. You will never have to brag about something you did for another if it is truly what you want to do, because the right person is always watching. They never have to be the biggest things, and they don’t have to require any type of monetary change. Things as little as kind words make a positive impact.

Jordyn Renquist
Age 17
Glenrock High School
Wyoming, United States

Jordyn serves her community through involvement in numerous organizations like BIONICS (Believe It or Not I Care), SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), FFA (Future Farmers of America), and 4-H, a youth development and mentoring program. Through FFA, Jordyn has volunteered her time to help other showmen with their livestock. With BIONICS, she works to support and encourage others facing challenging times.

Showing livestock is what Jordyn looks forward to in her free time. These shows are where she can show off her responsibility, hard work, and dedication. Jordyn is the overall reserve grand champion in the Catch-A-Calf program! She plans on majoring in agriculture education to become a high school agriculture teacher and help mentor students through any career path.

Impact advice: Keep on trying. Don’t ever lose hope. 

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.