By Stacy Bodow, VISIONS Program Director

There is something about the high I feel on the heels of each VISIONS summer program abroad that keeps me coming back. It is more than just the wonderful memories I have of the teen travel programs and the work, the people and the fun. What keeps me coming back is knowing that I worked hard for a good greater than my own.

Each youth summer program abroad moves me closer to my ‘ideal self’. Closer to being the person I want to be, the person I’m proud to be, the person collaborating with others who are also striving to be their best selves. Over the years, I have come to realize that this feeling does not have to end on the flight home.

Summer ends and life gets busy — for all of us. School starts, homework overflows, sports demand, social events entice — the list goes on. While being involved in all of these things is wonderful, it doesn’t mean that you or I can’t find time to lend a hand to others and/or our communities, too. There are so many easy ways to get involved and actively work toward the betterment of your community and, in turn, naturally toward the betterment of yourself.

VISIONS goal is to introduce our high school and middle school participants to a culture of community service, a lifelong relationship to volunteering in the U.S. or abroad as a natural part of growing up and a purposeful action to weave into the rest of our lives. There are just as many opportunities to help in our own communities as there are elsewhere in the world. We encourage you to take control and get involved.

VISIONS in The New York Times