VISIONS has set the standard for international community service programs for high school students for 35 years. Collaborative service work and cross-cultural living help our teen volunteers understand a complicated world & learn meaningful ways to contribute productively.
Our roots go back to the early 1970s, when a few New York friends and educators relocated to a Pennsylvania farm to establish an experiential summer camp for teens. Many summers in this setting taught us that teens thrived while working and living together. They loved the camaraderie, the physical labor and the shared sense of purpose. The concept of VISIONS sprang from this knowledge. Teenagers want to be part of something bigger and are willing to work hard to meet big goals. In 1988, we decided to take these ideas beyond the farm, sensing that this kind of volunteerism would appeal to teens. We were right.
VISIONS collaborates at the grassroots level, with a strong commitment to our community partners. We have lived and worked in the Dominican Republic, Montana Indian reservations and British Virgin Islands for more than three decades. Most of our other sites have hosted VISIONS teens for at least 25 years. When we develop new programs, we do so with long-term partnerships in mind. These enduring relationships translate into exceptional opportunities for deep cultural learning. You will interact with local people who know and care for us. And you will leave with a greater understanding of what life is like in other parts of the world.
More than 1,500 labor projects, including:
- 26 Community Centers
- 3 Medical Clinics
- 66 Homes
- 27 Schools
- 60 Playgrounds
- Plus, wheelchair ramps, firehouses, park pavilions, powwow arbors, fences, baseball dugouts, wood sheds, outhouses, bridges, dog houses, remodels, renovations and more.
- 14 cisterns and wells
- I84 clean-burning stoves in homes
- Potable water systems serving hundreds of households
- Gardening and organic farming projects
- Trail work, removing invasive plant species, and the list goes on!
- Day camps for thousands of kids
- Teaching in classrooms
- Serving meals to elders
- Food distribution at soup kitchens
- Swim lessons for people with disabilities
- Helping with community events