Ashlin Ivester

Dominican Republic Leader

1. What inspired you to join VISIONS?

I have visited the Dominican Republic twice with VISIONS as a participant, and it was everything I wanted. I love VISIONS mission and the amount of effort, commitment, and care that goes into each program. I was/am inspired by the magic of these programs and see how a group of strangers can come together, work with other communities, and make everlasting bonds and impacts.

2. What experiences have shaped your passion for community service and youth development?

I have always enjoyed working with communities towards a common goal. I have a lot of experience working with homeless and in-need populations within my community. It inspires me daily to keep finding areas where I can help. Additionally, being a part of VISIONS programs as a teenager was a wonderful, eye-opening experience that helped me realize community service and youth development are what I want to pursue in the future.

3. What is your favorite achievement?

During my junior year of high school, I started a holiday meal program called Holiday Helper which helps to provide people in need in my community with a home-cooked meal. I have kept it going for three years and we have fed over 300 people/families during the holiday season! This is my favorite achievement because as a 16-year-old I wanted to make an impact. It hasn’t always been easy and it requires a lot of help from the community, but each year I prove to myself that anything is possible while helping the community!

4. What is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?

Every place I’ve traveled to is unique, so it is hard to choose my favorite! That being said, after traveling to Barcelona and Madrid, Spain is one of my favorite countries. The culture, food, architecture, and scenery are right up my alley and I would be happy to go back again and again.

5. What is the best advice you’ve received?

Work hard, play hard. My family, teachers, coaches, and mentors taught me the importance of balancing work, school, and social life, and it works!

6. What do you hope to accomplish this summer?

My biggest goal for this summer is to provide the same wonderful experience and guidance that I received as a VISIONS participant. I look forward to being there for students as a mentor and role model and sharing an amazing summer filled with adventure and community service!

7. What are you most excited about this summer?

I’m most excited to meet everyone and return to the Dominican Republic. The DR is an amazing place full of culture and vibrance, and I am excited to share it with students.

8. If you had to give one piece of advice or words of encouragement to someone on their first Visions experience, what would it be?

Be authentic and enjoy the experience! Going to another place with a group of strangers can (at first) be intimidating. However, if you are intentional about being yourself and staying true to your values and beliefs you will thrive! Also, soak up every moment. Traveling to the Dominican Republic with VISIONS was one of the best experiences because I went into every situation with an open mind and optimism. I’m super excited to meet you all!

Meet the rest of our team!

Recent Blog Posts

VISIONS is PVSA Certified!

VISIONS is PVSA Certified!

VISIONS Service Adventures is now a PVSA-certified organization, offering certified hours to teens volunteering on their summer programs.

Nolan & Barry, A VISIONS Love Story

Nolan & Barry, A VISIONS Love Story

Nolan & Barry met during Leader Training in Bozeman before heading out to separate summer program locations. They were married just two years later. Now with two kids in Austin, they reflect on their journey with VISIONS, sharing insights on love, leadership and the impact of meaningful experiences.