We believe in relevant, collaborative, and responsible community service travel experiences that help contribute to a more equitable world where our students can connect with others different from themselves and forge life-changing experiences and lasting relationships.
Every year, scores of young people travel the world to participate in community service programs as volunteers. Twenty-five years ago when we first began The Road Less Traveled, few if any of these programs existed. Today there are many, each offering their own interpretation of “community service.” Some programs focus solely on the traveler's experience, and many rarely consider the impact on, or sacrifice of, the communities they are there to serve.
Community service on The Road Less Traveled is based on our own personal philosophy of what we call “accompaniment.” It is also rooted in a commitment to “Do No Harm” in all that we do. We recognize that the individuals and communities that we visit, and the students who are honored enough to share in the experience, are both uniquely impacted in ways that are life-changing.
One of the gifts our The Road Less Traveled offers is the opportunity to explore diversity and to provide the experience to ALL students. We accomplish this through a healthy and robust scholarship program known as Geography of Hope, which supports nearly 20% of our total travelers each year.
The Road Less Traveled service experience is community driven - as is our company. This is why we as an organization became the first certified B-Corp in Illinois. Committed to more than just sustainability (which is the ability to continue a defined behavior indefinitely), we strive to go above and beyond, meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Our students walk beside communities, struggle with their desire to do something right, discuss, reflect, and try to make sense of the overall experience and what it means for them. Most importantly, they return home and contemplate how they can continue to be a part of something bigger than themselves that contributes to lasting hope and change.
We have specific standards that we adhere to. We believe in programming that emphasizes the benefits of exploring what service means, and learning from the relationships that are built out of an experience where all parties are equal and share a mutually beneficial and rewarding experience.
We have longstanding relationships in all the areas of the world we travel to, and the members of the communities we visit have the strongest voice when it comes to the creation and management of both programming and service projects.
The RLT experience is distinguished by the intercultural relationships formed on our trips, the responsible preparation of both our travelers and the community, our commitment to use local sourcing for all our project needs, our emphasis on cultural and personal reflection and above all, our unique service philosophy.
As it becomes ever more difficult in the world of the web to separate the average from the exceptional, knowing who you are choosing to travel with and where your adventure will really take you is vital. Please give Jim, Donna or any of our dedicated staff a call at 773.342.5200 if you have any questions.