MAD & SFDC Volunteering, The Kids of MAD!, Uncategorized

Machu Picchu 2018 Trip Leader Story: Emilee Struss

“It started as a phone call, strictly for work, that turned into something…big.” – Emilee Struss

Emilee is a youth programs coordinator and writer that lives in Hailey, ID. She discovered Make A Difference (MAD) while researching nonprofits for a program she was designing. Her search led to a list of nonprofits in Idaho, one of the being MAD. After speaking with a MAD representative on the phone, she desired to know more due to her interest in traveling and working with nonprofits.

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Emilee on a trip to Lake Chala in Tanzania

After one short conversation with MAD’s founder, Theresa Grant, Emilee felt a strong desire to volunteer in Tanzania. Previously, Emilee had also volunteered in South Africa for six months and knew the impact that volunteering can make. She enjoyed learning about the culture, language and Africa’s simple way of living. She realized that not only could she use her education to better the life of another, but this was also an opportunity for her to grow as well.

In July of 2017, Emilee traveled to Tanzania as a volunteer. During her time, she met some of the students that MAD sponsors, conducted interviews and wrote articles about the great work that MAD was doing. Emilee has a background in Wilderness Therapy and enjoys the wilderness equally (if not more) than writing.

Upon returning from Tanzania, Emilee wanted to do more. MAD’s Charity Hikes peaked her interest. She was inspired by MAD’s honest approach at enriching the lives of not only vulnerable youth but their sponsors as well. Emilee is looking forward to getting more involved with MAD by leading the 2018 Machu Picchu trip.

Inspired by all the brave students that she met in Tanzania, Emilee started a blog series about them titled, “This Is”. To view some of those articles, please click here.



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