Hello from Orem, UT!

Our office is made up of staff who have all volunteered with us at one point or another, including the Program Directors who dreamed up and started ILP 25+ years ago! We’re here to share our own experiences and help answer your questions about volunteering with ILP.


Representative Supervisor

KEILANI

keilani@ilp.org
Volunteer in Costa Rica Spring 2019

What’s the best thing that you got out of the program?

I got to feel like I was part of, and accepted by, a new culture. My experience influenced the way I view people around the world.

What was your favorite vacation?

We spent our 9-day vacation island hopping Bocas Del Toro in Panama. My favorite part was looking at the green, luscious mountains outside our hostel, boat, or bus, wherever we were. Just opening my eyes cheered me up. Everyone’s favorite activity we did was white water river rafting!

Friends you'll always remember?

My volunteer group became my best friends. We played games every night and did everything together. We will forever talk about all the cute kids we taught and the funny things they did on the daily.


Assistant Rep Supervisor

SIERRA

sierra@ilp.org
Volunteer in the Dominican Republic Summer 2016

Why did you decide to volunteer with ILP?

I wanted to see the world and have an adventure! Switch things up and do something different for a semester.

Best thing you got out of it?

There are honestly too many to name, but I learned that I can do hard things and I learned so much about a different way of life and I learned to be grateful for the privileges I’ve had that I didn’t even know were privileges! I also got to see more of the beautiful world we live in and made some life long best friends.

Who did you meet that you'll always remember?

I met my best friends on the trip! They were bridesmaids at my wedding and 3.5 years later we still have a group message and get together as often as we can.

Volunteer Relations Coordinator + Head Teacher Coordinator

EMMA

vrc@ilp.org + headteachers@ilp.org
Volunteer in Ukraine Summer 2014; Head Teacher in the DR Spring 2016 and Summer 2017

Why did you decide to volunteer?

Each trip was for a different reason, but initially I really wanted to work with the kids and be able to learn about new cultures and places!

What's the best thing you got out of the ILP program?

Friends. Every single trip I went on I made life-long friends – both within my group and with some of the native people living around me!

What's a funny memory you'll never forget?

The first time some of us learned how to play dominoes in the DR, our neighbor, Papi took like 10 minutes explaining that it was a science. He would give us different looks every time we laid something down based on whether it was a good move or bad move and it was hilarious to watch him!


Representative

AMY

amy@ilp.org
Volunteer in Mexico Summer 2019

Why did you decide to volunteer?

I am going to school to be an elementary school teacher, and had a friend who moved to the U.S. from Mexico and would tell me all about how gorgeous it was. I figured it was the best option for me during my summer between semesters!

What was your favorite vacation?

Oh my goodness, this is so difficult. I loved everywhere we went, but definitely, my favorite was our backpacking trip in the Yucatan peninsula. We backpacked for 10 days and stayed in 7 different cities. I LOVED this trip and did the craziest things: swam with whale sharks, stayed in the coolest hostels, went to amazing cenotes, did some cliff jumping, went scuba diving with turtles and stingrays, and met new friends who were also backpacking around that area!

What did you like most about the volunteering with ILP?

The best thing about ILP is getting to become a local in your city/town. I became such good friends with my students’ families, I was super tight with the man who ran the Oxxo (think of like a gas station type store), the people who ran our Sunday and Wednesday market knew us as the “teachers” and the people at our favorite taco stand “Los Primos” knew our orders by the second month we were there!


Representative

MARYN

maryn@ilp.org
Volunteer in Russia Fall 2018; Head Teacher in Mexico Summer 2019

What's the best thing you got from volunteering?

The best thing I got from ILP was the relationships with the kids, my group, and most importantly myself. I learned so much about my ability to grow and adapt to unknown environments.

What did you like most about the ILP program?

I like that the program is so culturally immersive, and really is one of the most affordable programs out there for the experience you’re getting.

What's a funny memory from being in a foreign place you'll always have?

Every day in an unknown country is an adventure that you just have to enjoy the ride for. One weird memory I’m thinking of is when I came home from school one day in Russia, and my host family was stomping on grapes in the kitchen to make homemade wine and asked if I wanted to join! I politely declined, but was entertained nonetheless!


Representative

CAROL

carol@ilp.org
Volunteer in Ukraine Spring 2019

Who did you meet that you'll always remember?

My host mom is definitely #1 on the list of best friends I met. There is also a group of six of us that were in the group together, and we still talk to each other every single day and go on little trips together. I 100% consider them to be some of my best friends and we never would have met if it wasn’t for ILP.

What did you do to afford to volunteer?

I paid for my trip by doing a fundraiser on Facebook!

What was your favorite vacation?

My favorite vacation was going to Italy!! Some of my very closest friends and I went to Rome for a few days during our long vacation and goodness it was such a DREAM! It was so warm and beautiful and all of the people were so kind and all of the food was SO delicious. 10/10 for sure.