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VISIONS teen summer programs are almost 30 years-old, and our focus has remained unchanged over the years. When you make the decision to join VISIONS, you know you are choosing one of the highest-quality options for what we do: community service in a cross-cultural context. There are many options now that service-travel is so popular, but very few organizations have had so many years to hone and perfect a singular model. We’re reminded of the steadfast success of our programs every time we read letters and evaluations from over the years. Here are a few:

Alaska, 2015
Best program she’s ever participated in; every aspect of the program and staff was top notch. We feel fortunate to have been a part of this.” —Anne Moorman, Parent

Alaska, 2000
The VISIONS leaders…they were all so great, and I love them all. I think all of them were really like “campers. They really took good care of us, they understood us, and they led us well.… The ice climbing was really great too. It was so nice seeing people cheer for each other, and of course the whole climbing experience was wonderful…AMAZING, WONDERFUL, INCREDIBLE, AWESOME, FANTASTIC, FABULOUS, UNBELIEVABLE, TERRIFIC, SUPER—DUPER!!!…I don’t know about the other sessions, but VISIONS Mentasta 2000 was definitely a SUCCESS!!!”—Akiko Iwanari, New York

Alaska, 2000
I loved this program because of all the people I met, including the staff, who were wonderful…Finally, the projects we did were a lot of fun even though we were working a lot. I just loved this program.” —Dave Brewer, Illinois

British Virgin Islands, 2015
I loved how I got to meet new people and live within the community and actually feel like I’m doing something important. It was a really great experience and I loved the excursions like the scuba diving. I think it was great.” —Riley Munson, Florida

British Virgin Islands, Middle School, 2015
Tyler is quite a shy child with a big heart. We were surprised by his interest in the program knowing that he would be leaving the country without knowing a soul… We could not be more pleased with the outcome. Tyler has come home with more confidence, a sense of pride for the work that he did and he’s gushing with excitement about the adventures that he had. My husband and I are thrilled that he is remaining in contact with several kids in the program. It’s great to see that throwing him into a situation outside of his comfort zone has helped him to grow so much. His confidence has grown by leaps and bounds. He is a lot more open and willing to share his thoughts and ideas more freely. His VISIONS experience was all we hoped for and more. Thank you.” —Gina Marma, New York

British Virgin Islands, 1997
Ben came back from the BVI with many wonderful stories about his experience and what he gained from it, and has remained much more communicative and sharing than before he left. I don’t know what the secret sauce is but it certainly seems to work. Our parental perspective, therefore, is very positive and one we’d be happy to share with parents of other prospective program attendees.” —Donald Reader, Parent

British Virgin Islands, 1998
My experience with VISIONS was incredible. It is hard to put all my feelings down on paper. Working side by side with the locals and knowing that my efforts made a difference feels wonderful. I never realized how truly amazing it feels to help others. When I heard that Virgin Gorda was in the path of Hurricane George, I was devastated and felt my heart break. The connection I feel with VG is strong. Even only being there, living there for four weeks, created a bond.”—Katie Shopkorn, New York

Dominican Republic, 2015
VISIONS is such an amazingly well organized company! My son fully enjoyed his program. The work was meaningful and fulfilling and the cultural exposure was something he would not have experienced on a family vacation. He was able to use and improve his Spanish and made great friends both with the other participants and the adults he interacted with.”—Adrienne Chen-Young, Maryland

Dominican Republic, 1991
I am one of the alumni from the Dominican Republic program (1991) and I am curious as to whatever became of the clinic we worked on near Santo Domingo. I have since gone on to a career in medicine (now an Infectious Diseases doctor at Johns Hopkins) in large part due to my experiences so long ago. I want to thank you and see if there are opportunities to help now that my training is complete.”—Ed Weinstein, MD PhD, Connecticut

Guadeloupe, 2015
I just want to give you a big shout out… Our daughter shined tonight because of your summer program. She offered to come with me to the grocery store (which is huge for a teenager), and… she has been cooking on her own and helping out way more than ever due to living with a group and because of your home base program. Thank you, thank you. Merci, merci.” —Alice Spahr, Parent

Guadeloupe, 2014
Best month of my life. Most beautiful place I’ve ever been, very relaxing, best people I’ve ever met. I loved interacting with the kids and community. One of the best parts of the trip for me.” —Jamie Lindner, Virginia

Guadeloupe, 1997
The opportunity I had to interact with a culture so different from my own was amazing. I learned so much about the Guadeloupian culture, as well as about myself, and how I interact with people from another culture. My summer with VISIONS was an experience that changed me. I found courage in me that I never thought existed and did things that I never thought I could. I know I’m gushing, but I think VISIONS changed my life.” —Rachel Silbermann, New York

Guadeloupe, 1997
The combination of learning more about myself, as well as other Americans and the Guadeloupian culture was excellent.” —Brian Sunderland, Massachusetts

Mississippi, 2015
I liked how we had so many opportunities to interact with community members. The barbecue at Flowers’s house in Gulfport was my favorite of these times. The food was awesome, and the people were really nice and easy to talk to. Even though I was not good at canoeing, I think it was a good experience to have and now I have a funny story to tell.” —James Cole, Pennsylvania

Mississippi, 2008
VISIONS was probably the best experience of my life so far. It gives you an idea about working for the future and especially working for other people’s joy and not for yourself.” —Oscar Tine, France

Montana Blackfeet, 2015
Paden had the experience of a lifetime, literally it’s changed her. She loved the kids on the service tour and thinks the world of the counselors! Thank you for such a wonderful trip!” —Susan Dvoor, Parent

Montana Blackfeet, 1995
Heather started a new school this year — eleventh grade is not an easy switch — and with the self-confidence that she got from VISIONS under her belt, it has made all the difference. Amazing what three weeks can do when there’s a VISION and wonderful people to carry it out. The best three weeks of Heather’s life—I mean that. Many thanks.” —Ellen Clarkson, Parent

Montana Blackfeet, 1993
Amazing!” —Katerina Katsouri, Greece
The single greatest experience of my life.” —Titus Adkins, New York