After many weeks of reading, re-reading, and interviewing, the time has finally come to congratulate our newest class of accepted students. This year, we accepted 11 students, more than ever before, across four grade levels: 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th. Our students came from over half a dozen schools and are class presidents, volunteers, actresses, and even concert piano players.
We are excited to get to know them better over the next couple of weeks and introduce our accepted students to you. Stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page for interviews and other exciting content.
Three days ago, I returned from my own “trip of a lifetime” of sorts. I just spent ten days in Israel on Taglit Birthright, a program for college students to explore the country and develop their own connections with Judaism.
Visiting Israel exceeded all of my expectations. In addition to visiting the traditional sites such as the Kotel (Western Wall) and Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum), I also had the opportunity to spend five days with a group of eight Israeli Soldiers. In Israeli, every teen has to serve in the IDF, the Israeli Defense Force, so soldiers are just typical college-age students; they love to watch TV, go on Facebook, and even know Gangam Style and Honey Boo Boo.
Beyond enjoying American entertainment, the soldiers showed all of us the importance of persevering through adversity. Even though they live their lives in constant danger, soldiers have an unwavering pride for their country; many would give up their lives at home at the drop of a hat to fight on the front lines. Instead of blaming others for their past woes, soldiers are always focused on the future, fighting for the day when the whole region is at peace. Not every soldier always likes what is going on in Israel but they sure as heck love their country.
My trip to Israel is only one of many eye-opening experiences the Trip of a Lifetime staff has had. As a collective, we have been to six continents and over thirty countries including Scotland, Ghana, UAE, and Cambodia. Although we have reached the far corners of the globe, there is always something new to explore.
Experience wanderlust and expand your horizons while you still can.
Me in Tel Aviv
Trip of a Lifetime founder Stan Rosenberg was featured on MoPro.com! Visit www.mopro.com/casestudies and scroll down to the middle of the page to watch Stan’s video.
Every year, I am amazed by the outpouring of support Trip of a Lifetime receives from our donors and sponsors. Without their donations and positive reinforcement, the organization would not be where it is today. Although everyone deserves recognition, there are a few people I would like to especially signal out.
Norman Rein, Karen Rein, and Howie Fox - Thank you for believing in the work Trip of a Lifetime does since day one. You have given us invaluable advice and have always encouraged us to expand the organization. The trips you provide to students are truly amazing.
Nancy O’Connor and Joanna Paul - Thank you for being two of the first members of our community advisory board. We are excited work more closely with you over the next few months to improve the organization.
Mollie Quinn, Katie Dubiel, Jodie Ruck, Nate Cole, Norm Silverman, and Evan Meyers - Thank you for being the reason we receive so many great applicants each year. You make our jobs difficult but that’s exactly what we want from you. All of you care about your students more than anyone else I have ever met.
Philip Gallagher, Mitch Mosk, Claire Hodgdon, Dustin Alin, Josh Kogan, Steven Kline, Saket Mehta - Thank you for being the best supporting cast I could ever ask for. Although things get stressful at times, you have stuck with me since day one, helping shape Trip of a Lifetime into the amazing organization it is today. Working alongside you has made me appreciate all of you that much more and developed friendships that will truly last a lifetime.
Alex Shropshire and Leah Schoenfeld - Thanks for trusting me and becoming two of our first interns. Although each of you have only been on the job for a few months, you can already see the impact both of you are having on the organization. Having additional hands on deck has made running the organization that much easier.
Mom and Dad - From the first time I decided to embark on this journey, you have been my captains, steering me towards success and helping me when times got tough. Whether you help keep our books straight, cash checks, or are simply my biggest cheerleaders, each role has been invaluable and greatly appreciated. Love you both!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!