These young leaders will continue to share and thrive off of their experiences, as they hope to continue creating the change we need in this world.

By: Haldis Toppen, Director of Employer Relations and Outreach

You know that feeling when you go somewhere you’ve never been before, but feel like it’s a second home the moment you meet the people? That is what my colleague, Amber Hayes, and I experienced this past week in Jamaica. For many years, Greenheart has had the privilege of interacting with Jamaican participants; some of the most engaging, friendly, and motivating participants we have the honor of working with.

In addition to another tremendous Summer Work and Travel job fair event, Greenheart staff, host organization, and former participants had several fun opportunities to connect and reminisce. This was done through three different events: a Greenheart volunteer project, exploring the Bob Marley museum, and an exclusive Greenheart alumni meeting.

At our Greenheart Service Project, we were able to have several hours of fun with children at Walker’s School of Safety. Because of unsafe environments in their homes, these children attend the school to get away from the harsh realities. While there, we were able to dance, sing, read books, and enjoy lots of hugs with the kids.

During our time at the Bob Marley museum, we were able to further grow our Greenheart hearts when we learned more about the legend that brought “One Love” to the world. We were even able to run into one of his sons – Julian Marley!

On our final day of festivities, 8 participants came together to talk about their experiences on the Summer Work Travel program. Some participants had been on the program once, while others had done it 5 times! They all agreed that there were many work and life lessons they learned from their time in the United States, but the most important thing they learned was that everyone in the world is connected; even when you live on an island like Jamaica. These young leaders will continue to share and thrive off of their experiences, as they hope to continue creating the change we need in this world.

It was my first time coming to Jamaica, but I can tell you that my heart is so full right now! These participants are the reason we do what we do and I am very thankful to finally visit my second home!

Find your second home by traveling on our International Job Fairs!