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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Samar, Rebecca and Pyncha
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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Samar, Rebecca and Pyncha

What is ‘Rustic Spirit’? And, how does one have ‘Rustic Spirit’?

There’s certain attitudes and qualities we see in students that travel with Rustic Pathways year after year. They are empathetic, creative problem solvers, community-oriented and positive impact-minded.

Yet Rustic Spirit spans far beyond our students. Young people around the world are making a positive impact.

We want to recognize and celebrate these individuals. The following changemakers embody Rustic Spirit.

Samar Hasan
Age 16
Granada Hills Charter High School
California, United States

Samar is the founder and president of the ACT NOW club, which seeks to educate against oppression and advocate for human rights by collecting signatures for student petitions and disseminating fact sheets on these topics. She is editorial director of an organization call called “Student Aim.” Samar edits papers every week to help students gain professional skills in the real world.

Additionally, Samar has contributed many hours helping disabled individuals learn to ride and care for horses, allowing them to develop a sense of security and growth, and overcome physical and psychological barriers.

In her free time, Samar loves meeting new people from different cultures. By interacting with people of different backgrounds, she continues to aim at making a difference in the world. As an aspiring physician, she endeavors to help shape the future by securing the health of the oppressed since they can lack access to this basic human right.

Impact advice: In order to make a positive impact, you need to continue to stay motivated as consistency is key in achieving goals.

Rebecca Salinas
Age 17
Ripley High School
Mississippi, United States

Whether it be passing out food, donating her time or volunteering with clubs or on her own, Rebecca is always helping around her community. She is a member of NEMYF, an organization that fundraises for non-profit organizations focused on the education and creativity of future generations.

Rebecca is also a Ripley Main Street Ambassador. In this role, she finds ways to bring joy into the community and works on projects like holiday activities for local children or displaying art in the town.

Rebecca loves hanging out with friends, volunteering, scrapbooking, playing Sims 4 and painting in her free time. In college Rebecca plans to become a certified Nursing Assistant so she can work in healthcare while obtaining a degree at Baptist Health Sciences University for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. She aspires to use her skills to help people in need of health services both within her community and worldwide.

Impact advice: Apply yourself to reaching your goals, even if you need to step out of your comfort zone.

Pyncha Soottreenart
Age 17
Bangkok International Preparatory and Secondary School
Bangkok, Thailand

Pyncha has played an active role as a student leader in her community since the first grade. Currently, as deputy head girl of the school, Pyncha meets with the student executive team to plan school events and represent the student voice.

Pyncha is the president and one of the founding members of the Smile Club at her school, a club dedicated to raising awareness and funds for Operation Smile which provides surgery and therapy for children with cleft lip or cleft palate. She is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children the organization helps and is working to give everyone the same rights to receive quality healthcare. Pyncha has helped grow the club from five to thirty-three members and led successful fundraising events within the last six months.

Beyond the classroom, Pyncha enjoys playing the violin, performing with her rock band as a singer, and playing football with her friends. She aspires to go to medical school in the future and become a doctor.

Impact advice: Ask yourself – how do I want to help my community? For myself, it was that I believed everyone should have the privilege to receive quality healthcare. Seeing Operation Smile’s mission and work, I immediately wanted to contribute to their cause. Thus I would recommend seeking out existing organizations and asking them how you can help. However if it does not exist – create your own! Change starts with you.

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