Sunday, April 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

‘It all really touches you': DHS student broadens her worldview with summer program

By
From page A8 | September 03, 2013 |

DHS senior Cierra Brown poses with her host sisters, Jennifer, left, and Juanita, right, in Guatemala. Brown volunteered in Central America this summer. Courtesy photo

Cierra Brown’s experience volunteering in Central America this summer was not unlike that of many Davis teens: a mix of anticipation and anxiety about being out of the country for the first time, a couple tough days adjusting to life with a host family in a strange country, followed by a period of time so wonderful she didn’t want to leave.

Brown, a senior at Davis High School, spent her summer as a Wandering Scholar, thanks to the Walking Tree Travel program, which selected Brown and a couple other teens from around the country for full fellowships. Brown traveled to Guatemala, where she lived with a host family, helped rebuild a women’s center and focused on education, visiting local schools and meeting the children.

“I had a great time,” Brown said.

“It really opened my eyes,” she added. “I’d never been on a plane, never been out of the country, but I loved it. I didn’t want to leave.”

And the experience brought her future goals into focus: “I want to travel more, and I want to become a pediatrician,” she said. “I want to help kids around the world. That’s my goal.”

The beginning was a bit tough though, she admitted.

“I was so scared being out of the country for the first time and missing my mom … the first two days were really tough, but then it all really touches you.”

Brown first heard about the Walking Tree program when a representative visited her Spanish class sophomore year. A year later, she decided to apply for Walking Tree’s wandering scholar program, which selects three teens from low-income backgrounds who are passionate about global exploration, exhibit promise as “intercultural innovators,” and demonstrate intellectual and entrepreneurial curiosity despite a lack of resources and opportunity.

Hearing that all her expenses would be covered, Brown thought, “Oh, I should do that.'”

She knew the odds would be against her, given that just a few students are chosen from around the country, but she credited her Spanish teacher at Davis High, Janice Candelario, with helping her through the application process.

She was thrilled to be selected.

Walking Tree Travel sends hundreds of students to one of seven countries in Central America, Africa and Asia, where they work on projects aimed at improving life in local communities. They build community centers, dig wells, paint buildings and more.

In Guatemala, Brown helped rebuild a women’s center, “a little muscle work,” as she called it.

When not laboring, she was enjoying time with her large host family. They live in a cement house with a metal roof — “it was really loud when it rained” — where she shared a room with another wandering scholar.

Though she’d been studying Spanish in school, she found herself facing a bit of a language divide.

“They all laughed at my Spanish,” she recalled. “But they could understand me. I was only there two weeks but I learned a lot.”

Now that she’s back in Davis, she’s staying in touch with her host family and also plans to continue helping their community by collecting school supplies for them.

“I want people here in the United States to help them out,” she said, adding that she’ll be presenting her plans at Davis High and using social media to get the word out to the community.

And that, it turns out, is the whole point of Walking Tree Travel.

Paul Laurie, the program’s director, says, “We hope that our participants bring their experiences home and start a dialogue with other kids to better appreciate the world which we all share.”

Learn more about the program at http://www.walkingtree.org

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at [email protected] or 530-747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy

Comments

comments

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

.

News

 
Davis team wins world robotics championship

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Suspect in UCD assault arrested

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Watch them in action

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

We did it (together)!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

 
$2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Those texts still linger

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

 
New ways of giving locally and beyond

By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

 
Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Water, water everywhere?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

By Our View | From Page: A12

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

Poker proceeds help youths

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Invest in water of the future

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Anaheim, where The Force is with you

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

.

Sports

Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

Davis Roots hires new general manager

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Comcast announces speed upgrade

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Obituaries

Whitney Joy Engler

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Valente Forrest Dolcini

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8