For me, this experience will have a lasting effect.

By: Renee Clarke, Work and Travel Employer Relations Manager

In early March I attended one of the last four Greenheart Job Fairs of the season. With this trip, Greenheart staff traveled to the southern cities of Guangzhou and Sanya in China. We were hiring participants through in-person interviews for the summer 2017 season. The participants not only dedicated their time, energy and efforts to interview for fantastic jobs this upcoming season but also focused on volunteerism!

Between the two cities, we had close to 200 participants, faculty, and university staff members participating in presentations about volunteerism in the United States and with Greenheart. Not only did we present, but we also had our own service project! Our project had a team of 30 volunteers that planted 25 trees on the growing campus of City College.

The project went rather quickly, as the campus maintenance team helped with digging some of the holes before we arrived. That is when Greenheart, faculty members, and participants took over with shovels and picks to plant the 4-foot magnolia tree seedlings. For our first tree, I was digging a bit too much and started to laugh as I had a flashback to when I was a kid trying to “dig to China” but now only to dig on the other side of the globe (digging to the United States)!

These small magnolia trees will grow, blossom, and remind the volunteers and future participants of the impact volunteerism has in their community. It was a true connection of people and planet!

For me, this experience will have a lasting effect. I was really touched by the participants’ dedication to prepare for their upcoming Summer Work Travel programs to come to the United States and be a part of Greenheart. This was my first time in China and the most involved I had been with our Chinese sending agency and Chinese participants during their pre-departure experience. After I got over the giggles of using a “non-Western” toilet and the thrill of trying to eat everything with chopsticks, I really felt the personal connection and insight to this growing culture within our program.

Leave a green mark abroad and hire students at one of Greenheart’s International Job Fairs!