Experience of a Lifetime: 60 students will travel to Europe for global leadership summit


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A beautiful overview of Barcelona where current freshman and sophomores

In July of 2020, more than 60 of York’s juniors and seniors (current freshman and sophomores) will be traveling to Madrid and Barcelona for a week then  heading to Davos, Switzerland, for a global leadership summit revolving around sports and wellness. Currently, these 60+ students are focused on the financial part of the trip. Each of them needs to pay the more than $5,000 that the trip costs.

“The goals would be that we do a couple [fundraisers] per month, something small like Chipotle and concessions,” trip leader and Spanish teacher Kelley Rodriguez said. “Then during the summer, some bigger ones like those car washes and the chaperones were talking about a trivia night.”

Every student was given their own page for accepting donations, similar to that of a GoFundMe page; however, a few students have expressed ways they can fundraise individually.

“I like to do art, so I’ve been making cards,” freshman Ava Eisa said. “We are trying to figure out [somewhere] to sell them.”

There are students that have never traveled out of the country and the chaperones are hoping this will be an experience that they can take so much away from.

“[I hope the students] step out of [their] comfort zones and see a world that’s beyond the walls of Elmhurst, Illinois,” Rodriguez said, “to see what life is like in a different country.”

The leadership conference that occurs at the end of the trip in Switzerland will feature many guest speakers and activities. This is the highlight of the trip and something that will have a lasting impression on students.

“I’m really excited for the leadership summit and the people that are coming to talk, so I’m hoping [I will] learn something from that,” Eisa said.

Rodriguez had this opportunity when she went to York and claims that it confirmed her love of Spanish which led her to become one of the Spanish teachers here at York.

“They should travel to build relationships, to find their passions and to see the world,” Rodriguez said.

With this in mind, these students will be working over the next year and a half during monthly meetings to build relationships with each other while fundraising. Rodriguez and other chaperones are hoping this will shed light on problems that are still going on within our country and community.

“All the tension that goes on even within our country, our community, and even within our school is because we don’t understand each other,” Rodriguez said. “When you are out somewhere learning about them and learning about other cultures, it just creates common ground.”