Global G.L.O.W. was thrilled to be invited to partner with Team Kids at their first annual Servathon Across America bus tour this summer. G.L.O.W. Girls Jordan McFarland and Allison Hernandez joined forty teens on this innovative service project tour across 14 states. Team Kids empowers the next generation of compassionate leaders through youth-led, school and community based service programs.
At each city stop, teen leaders partnered with local nonprofit organizations, public safety officials and veterans to tackle issues, such as: hunger, homelessness, children’s health, literacy and youth civic engagement in celebration of Team Kids’ 15th anniversary and to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11.
The two-week servathon trip culminated in a visit to the New York City Freedom Tower and United Nations where Team Kids presented their accomplishments in celebration of International Youth Day.
Jordan McFarland, Grade 9
This summer, I went on the 2016 Team Kids Servathon. Team Kids is a non-profit organization that wants to empower kids to change the world. The Servathon was a two week trip around the country giving back to the community by doing community service projects and random acts of kindness. I had never done anything like it before and I didn’t really know anyone in the trip except for my friend Allison Hernandez who is my friend at Global G.L.O.W. Living with a bunch of strangers for two weeks was pretty interesting. The first couple of days was learning our names and getting to know each other, but by the end of the trip, we were all pretty much one big family. The states we drove to were Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C, and New York. One of my favorite moments there was when we spent 40 minutes doing random acts of kindness and just seeing people’s reactions to us wanting to help them. One other moment that I will never forget is in New York while walking around Times Square, I gave a homeless man a bag filled with necessities any person would need and his face just lit up and he was so thankful and shocked. He thanked me a lot and it just warmed my heart seeing him so excited. This is one summer I would never forget and I highly recommend you to join Team Kids because it’ll be a lifetime adventure.
Allison Hernandez – Grade 9 Excerpts from My Journal
Wednesday, August 3 – Austin, TX
We were in Austin, Texas and I did many things that made me feel accomplished. For instance, we departed at 7 o’clock in the morning, 2 hours ahead of my clock at home, and we immediately went to our project at “Community First Village.” We were split up into teams of about 6 and worked in different areas. My friend Jordan was in my group and so we went where we were needed to pull out weeds and boy were there a lot! Our group found a little grasshopper and we named it Rachel or Richie (Since we didn’t know if it was a female or male.) However, it was fun to just learn about how that community was helping out the homeless in a very fantastic way. Then we performed “Random Acts of Kindness,” and boy was that the best part. We had a list that contained examples so we decided to give books to children, make a joke to someone, hand out dog toys and much more! Then while we were waiting for the bus, a group of boys held their posters that read “Honk for a smile.” and some people honked and we all cheered when they did. Yes I have to say going outside and just doing acts of kindness was the most fun. I simply loved it.
Saturday, August 8 – Memphis, TN
Memphis, Tennessee: Let me start off with how very tired I was, so very sleepy. We started the day at 5:30 a.m. and drove for about 8 hours straight to eat lunch then head over to “The National Civil Rights Museum Tour,” that was the most intense and powerful museum I ever visited. I read some information about how African Americans were mistreated in our country and how so many sacrifices were made to change it. It was indeed inspiring to listen, watch, and read their history. To be honest, I felt pity for these families after learning what they went through, yet they stayed strong together no matter what and indeed it was a very emotional moment for me. Towards the end of the tour, there was a small clip about immigration and how it is a problem and I related to that since I have family who immigrated here illegally. I realized at that moment how people aren’t that different, all of our races had struggles that dealt with war, losing someone, equality, freedom and education, but we all have the same goal, to create a better life or make it even more amazing. We want to make friendships or have a family to pass down what we have learned from our ancestors. The goal to have a better life is what they fought for so we could do even more for the next generation. I am very grateful and happy for the sacrifices for what our ancestors did for us.
Friday, August 12 – New York, NY
We went to the International Youth meeting at the U.N. There we dressed in our polo shirt and khakis looking quite the fancy and professional group. The U.N. was vast with intense information based on different countries. There was a meeting where we all attended for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. It was long and yet some information caught my attention about how we children are the future generation, but we are to start work on important change today and so we are also the present generation. I had an experience of a lifetime thanks to Team Kids and G.L.O.W. for opening up my eyes and helping me believe I can do anything I set my mind to. I want to help in the way I can share my passions, and I believe I can with my pencil and paper, camera and social skills. I thank you again Kylie and G.L.O.W. for giving me the opportunity to go on this amazing trip! I missed being at home in California but happy I made so many new friends.