Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Victoria, Callie and Victoria
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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Victoria, Callie and Victoria

This week’s Rustic Spirit Spotlights are here!

Those who have ‘Rustic Spirit’ are community-oriented and positive impact-minded.

Teenagers and young adults around the world are working to create positive change in their communities.

The following changemakers are doing incredible work and we are honored to recognize them.

Victoria Harris
Age 16
Cardinal Newman School
South Carolina, United States

Victoria is making a positive impact in her community through athletics and leadership. As a highly skilled volleyball player, she volunteers to train and shares her knowledge with younger volleyball players.

In this role, she is also teaching the players leadership skills. Victoria has found that most young people think that talking is the best way to lead, but she has learned that listening is the best way to lead. She always encourages her young athletes to talk about their challenges, and she can help them come up with a different strategy to address it.

In her spare time, Victoria loves to play volleyball. To her it is not just a sport, but a lifestyle. Victoria has been a part of ten travel volleyball seasons and her freshman year she was a captain of the varsity volleyball team, leading the team to their first state championship in 23 years.

Victoria plans to major in human anatomy as it is one of the core subjects she needs to study to become an optometrist. She aspires to own her own practice and set up an eye care clinic for people who can’t afford vision insurance.

Impact advice: Remember to become good at something you must practice. The last thing to help you ensure that you’re having an impactful moment in a person’s life is being able to handle criticism. Criticism is what builds you to be better at your skill, not an avenue to be used to tear you down.

Callie Cook
Age 22
William Angliss Institute
Melbourne, Australia

Callie was fourteen when they got their first opportunity to engage in a global impact project- a service trip to Thailand with Rustic Pathways. Throughout the years Callie has applied the leadership, communication, and teamwork skills gained through Rustic Pathways to other impact projects. Now, as an American expat in Australia, service has been the primary method Callie has used to connect with their new community.

In 2020 during the devastating bushfires, they created a fundraiser for BlazeAid, donating over $2,000 to the organization working to rebuild disaster-stricken communities. Currently, Callie volunteers for a food sovereignty organization called JustFood. They work as the Head of Events, organizing educational workshops for schools, seed saving demonstrations, and meal preparation for vulnerable communities.

Additionally, as the Pride Club president, Callie’s work aims to foster a community that is welcoming to all students and eliminates all forms of discrimination. They have worked on initiatives including the creation of gender neutral bathrooms, changing university legislation to allow students preferred names on student IDs and paperwork, and increasing diverse literature in the library.

Callie enjoys home fermentation. They are currently obtaining their Bachelor of Food Studies & Diploma of Food Science at William Angliss Institute. In the future Callie hopes to work in the non-profit sector on projects to create more equitable, sustainable food systems that increase accessibility to healthy and culturally appropriate food. Additionally, they hope to own a small production farm and winery with a community space to hold workshops, tours, and school field trips.

Victoria Kirby
Age 17
Cascade High School
Montana, United States

Victoria finds ways to serve her community through opportunities in her extracurricular activities or simply just finding people who need help. She works on various community service projects, the most recent being a food drive with her 4-H leadership group for the local food bank.

In her free time, Victoria enjoys shooting her bow, doing most outdoor activities, and hanging out with her friends and family. She is involved in every extracurricular activity that her school offers that’s not a sport!

Victoria intends to major in agricultural education to become a 4-H extension agent in the future. She also plans on minoring in business administration to gain valuable knowledge that will help her start her own business.

Impact advice: Take any opportunity that you are given to help make a difference, even if it’s only a small one.

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.