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United Planet Quest Alumni
We're delighted to welcome back our returning volunteers, and to offer support and resources
Whether you have volunteered in another country for a week or a year, you have created a positive change in the lives of others -- as well as in your own life. The positive changes don’t stop once you have returned home. As a United Planet volunteer, you are a valuable member of our community, and we're here to support you with your future endeavors.
It is people like you, who are committed to volunteering and cultural learning, who bring us one step closer to fulfilling our mission. We hope you will stay connected with United Planet, and take advantage of our resources.
Distinguished Alumnus Community Engagement Award
Each year we celebrate United Planet Day on the Fall Equinox - the day the sun shines equally on all people around the world. As a part of these celebrations, we recognize our Quest Alumni who continue to make amazing contributions in their communities. The United Planet Annual Distinguished Alumnus Community Engagement Award is awarded each year to an outstanding United Planet Alumnus, who has demonstrated incredible accomplishment and contribution to his or her community through service and/or leadership in community engagement. The winner will receive a gift card valued at $100 and a year's subsription to the lovely Afar magazine!
Nominations for the 2013 award will begin in Spring 2013.
2012 Alumni Awards
Congratulations to our deserving alumni, Nesha Usmani and Katrina Gomez!
Nesha Usmani received our Distinguished Alumnus Community Engagement Award. She worked at the M.I. Keji School for six months with the supervision of ICYE Indonesia. Through her time given to her project, she demonstrated a dedication to her host community in several different ways. By reaching out to her home community and raising money, Nesha pushed her host and home cultures into better understanding and supporting one another. The money raised and the library built for the students she volunteered with will improve the education and cross-culture understanding of the community she lived in for six months.
This year, we also awarded Katrina Gomez with an Honorable Mention due to her great service with United Planet. Katrina has volunteered several times with United Planet. She has raised funds to improve conditions for girls at the Remar Orphanage and continues to educate friends and family in New York about the life of children at the orphanage.
2011 Alumni Awards
Distinguished Alumnus Community Engagement Award: Keri Dennison
Spread the word about United Planet and get $100
We encourage you to spread the word about your Quest experience to friends and family! If you recruit someone to volunteer with United Planet, you will get $100 as an appreciation gift! Just have your friend put your name as a reference on the application. That's all there is to it.
Refer a friend and get $100!!
Volunteer Mentor Program
The Volunteer Mentoring Program gives United Planet’s Alumni a key role in supporting volunteers before they leave for their Quest. This program allows alumni to share their rich experiences and advice that are so valuable to volunteers preparing for their own adventures abroad!
Volunteer Mentors are invited to:
- Participate in a pre-departure training phone/web session to share their insights.
- Contact new volunteers going to the same destination via e-mail/phone.
- Meet in person with new volunteers if they are from the same town.
If you are a UP Quest Alumnus interested in being a part of this program, please contact the Alumni Relations Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alumni Council Executive Members
What is the Alumni Council?
The Alumni Council is composed of a group of select United Planet alumni. It provides leadership opportunities for returned volunteers through the development and implementation of activities that support returned United Planet Quest volunteers. Past Alumni Council members have helped us better the experience of future volunteers. For example, they suggested that we implement a Volunteer Mentor Program. This program allows us to help prospective volunteers get in touch with alumni who have done Quests in the country that person is interested in visiting so that they may get a better understanding of the program from a volunteer's perspective.
Hello there! My name is Audra Borden and I am fortunate enough to have gone on a Quest to the small but vibrant community of Cai Cay, Peru in the winter of 2012-13 with a group of 14 amazing people from the University of Idaho. My time in Peru was eye-opening, challenging, and fulfilling in many ways, but the thing that left the greatest impression on me was the willingness of the community in which we served to see and expect the best in people.
Prior to embarking on my Peruvian adventure, I had been considering a career in medicine for some time. Peru reinforced my passion for service and has steered me towards a path in international medicine, specifically service with a medical aid organization.
I’m excited to be able to connect with other alumni whose eyes have been opened and lives changed by their experiences abroad. There’s no better way to inspire one another and those who maybe need a reason to take the next step towards exploring the world than the sharing of our stories and experiences.
The most fulfilling part of my Healthcare Quest to Guatemala involved the balance of hands-on medical experience under the guidance of a local doctor, together with the kindness and generosity of the Guatemalan people. I was able to see first-hand how a small gesture, such as teaching a child the proper way to use a toothbrush, can positively impact a whole community. The Quest was an eye-opening and life-changing experience that encourages me to continue helping those in need.
Before travelling with United Planet, I knew I wanted to become a professional in the medical field. However since travelling to Guatemala, I have developed a keen interest in not only direct patient care, but also the accessibility to healthcare in developing regions. Inspired by United Planet, my future plans of becoming a medical professional are rooted in cross-cultural understanding.
I hope to connect with other alumni to learn more about the United Planet community and to share stories about experiences abroad.
After graduating from The Ohio State University in 2011, I decided to spend 6 months in Indonesia through United Planet, teaching English at an elementary school.
The most fulfilling part of my quest was learning the language and spending time with the kids at my school. I also had family from the states fund raise some money for my school, and we were able to provide new furniture, multimedia, and even a new English curriculum for my school, as well as send two students to school for free.
I learned the value of helping other people and living in an environment completely different from my own taught me to appreciate what I have and am able to do.
My quest gave me an interest in Public Health. intend to pursue a Master's in Public Health at University of Illinois at Chicago.
My name is Gloria Wells and I reside in a rural area of the Phoenix Valley. I am a Registered Nurse and spent years in Critical Care Nursing before receiving my MBA and moving to the Healthcare Technology Field. My initial interest in traveling abroad began when I traveled to Nepal with a group of Neuroscience Nurses for an educational and cultural exchange.
I participated in my first United Planet Quest to Tibet in December of 2008. I had always been interested in Tibet and United Planet provided me with a unique opportunity to immerse myself in the Tibetan culture through my family stay and my two-week teaching Quest. To date I describe this experience as one of the best in my life. It was an opportunity to venture completely out of my comfort zone which in turn provided me with a tremendous growth experience. In a short amount of time I felt deep connection to the Tibetan people and will forever be indebted to the lessons they taught me.
In January of 2013 I received an opportunity from my company to utilize vacation time that was left-over from the previous year. Without hesitation I returned to the United Planet Website and with limited advanced notice, United Planet was able to place me at another teaching opportunity in Cambodia. Although different from my Tibetan Quest, I once again made a connection with an amazing group of people and left Cambodia with a deep admiration and respect for those that I worked with.
Through my United Planet Quests I have learned that there is no greater vacation experience and no greater way to visit a country on your own than one of volunteering. Through my participation in the Alumni Council I hope to provide others with the encouragement and direction that they may need to take that step towards a Quest through United Planet. It is rewarding beyond anything you can give to those you assist and the changes it can make in your life can be remarkable.
Transition Home Resources
You are invited to view and listen to the webinars designed exclusively for United Planet Quest alumni. They are located on The Hub, where predeparture documents are stored.
The sessions will assist you in your transition back home, including tips on impressing employers with your volunteer abroad experience, applying to schools and finding opportunities to volunteer back home or abroad again. If you have requests of topics you would like us to offer for our next webinars, please let us know!
Webinar: How to Impress Potential Employers with Your Volunteer Abroad Experience
Description: Learn about the skills you have gained or enhanced while abroad that may impress employers, and some tips on how to write your resume and interview effectively.
Stay Informed and Engaged
Update Your Contact Information
Email Alumni Relations Manager at email@example.com to update your contact information with United Planet.
- Find us on Facebook: United Planet Facebook Fan Page
- Follow us on Twitter
- Join the United Planet online community
- Join our Linked-in Group
United Planet sends out emails to alumni with program updates on their country and region of service, including special offers for Alumni and opportunities to stay engaged. Be sure we have your updated e-mail address!