CCI Greenheart Ambassador Scholarship

PHEW – WHAT A YEAR!

It is hard to believe that it was two years ago since the first crop of Ambassador Scholars. In our first year we had 7 extraordinary participants and since then we have had an additional 27 Work and Travel participants take this Ambassador journey. When CCI Greenheart initially developed the concept of the Ambassador Scholarship, we hoped that it would be a fun new venture for all our stakeholders – participants, employers, community organizers and partners. These past few years have gone above and beyond any hopes and dreams we held for the program. Not only did we have more scholars, we also had seen more leadership from our participants.

In addition to the above, some of our participants have already continued to demonstrate leadership in their home country. Our Ambassador Scholars are not only taking CCI Greenheart and the Work and Travel program to new heights; they are also spreading public diplomacy to their home countries, embassies, universities, and professional fields. I am at a loss of words to describe the pride I feel towards our participants. I know that they will continue to be the leaders and Ambassadors they have become and I cannot wait to see where they go next.

Go Greenheart!

Haldis Toppen
Director of Employer Relations and Outreach, CCI Greenheart Work and Travel 

Let’s start with Kate…

KATERYNA KRYSIUK

Home Country: Poland

Host Organization: Sun Communities Inc DBA Lake Laurie RV Resorts

Kate decided that she wanted to really understand American culture when she began her program. In her blog, she explains some of the ways she went about this, including getting acquainted with the history, traditions, food, and, of course, the language.

Kateryna Krysiuk

A Perfect Stay in Cape May

By: Kateryna Krysiuk, Summer 2015 Work and Travel Ambassador Scholar

When I travel I want to understand the traditions and culture of the country I am visiting. First, I get acquainted with the history, traditions, food, and, of course, the language. It has already been three months since I arrived in America! I’ve learned that you must speak with the locals. These are the people that will tell you about the history, politics, and other interesting facts about their motherland.

I’ve been so lucky to come to a city where I am surrounded by so many kind and clever people who assure me every day that America is a good country.

I’d like to share a bit about where I work. Lake Laurie is a campground where people spend their vacations and enjoy the summer. The campground is located in a wonderful and picturesque town named Cape May, where every day you can enjoy the sounds of the ocean, and admire dolphins. It’s truly a place where your soul can have real rest. I am happy that I’ve chosen this specific place through the program Work and Travel program.

Marek Ruzicka

MAREK RUZICKA

Home Country: Slovakia

Host Organization: Hershey Lodge

Marek road-tripped with new friends through the United States and made lots of stops along the way. He dipped into the ocean in New Jersey and Maryland, and saw the Washington Monument! In his video he shares all of the new places and faces he met.

Ondrej Svatos

ONDREJ SVATOS

Home Country: Czech Republic

Host Organization: Hershey Lodge

Ondrej’s summer included long days in the sun, keeping a close eye on swimmers, and making new friends. In this video, Ondrej takes us around on a typical day in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Jenelle, in the middle, with two participants

JENELLE SOLOMON

Home Country: Jamaica

Host Organization: Indiana Beach Inc.

Jenelle had all hands on deck when she organized her own Greenheart Service project to help her community. You won’t be able to believe how many different countries were represented at her project! Check out what she did to land a story in the local newspaper.

Jun Li

JUN LI (ELAINE)

Home Country: China

Host Organization: Hersheypark

When Elaine arrived in the United States she knew she wanted to become more involved in volunteering, but finding volunteers to help was not as easy as she had expected. When volunteers showed up at the last minute to help she learned a profound lesson!

Unity is Powerful

By Jun Li, Summer 2015 Ambassador Scholar

I had already participated in lots of volunteer activities before, so when I came to my host community (Harrisburg, PA) I knew I wanted to get more people involved in volunteering! I knew there was an opportunity coming up to clean a park with international students.

I asked my friends from China to join me. I know it can be hard to ask them to join if someone has never volunteered before. There were over 100 of us in the area, but some of them said they would rather go to church, or stay at home since it was really hot out that day. I felt really upset, but one of my co-workers, Meiling Hong, ended up having the day off from work that day. She said that she wanted to try volunteering. Then, more friends said that they would like to come. Finally, four Chinese students showed up. I was kind of moved by the whole situation.

We went to the park in the morning at 9 a.m. The people who volunteered were students, officers from International House Harrisburg, and a couple of CCI Greenheart staff. We started cleaning and weeding. The officers from International House were helpful and told us what kinds of plants were poisonous.

We worked very hard and had fun together. I shared my experience about volunteerism with them, and all my Chinese friends said they wanted to get involved with volunteering when they return to China. I felt so happy about it.

The International House officers also helped me get in touch with the local press to cover the event. I felt so proud that I could be there with them and was able to persuade them to join us.

Problems will always come up against your goals, even if your goal is to help the world. Nothing will be accomplished without effort. Once you try, you know you can do it! I know that one human is so small, but unity is powerful. That’s the reason why the U.S. is called the United States. That’s why I love America, and that’s also the reason I love this program, Work and Travel. I also published a video about our time together that you can see on the right!

Jun Li with host community

Chongyang Ma

CHONGYANG MA

Home Country: China

Host Organization: McBee Enterprises DBA McDonalds – Hyannis (North)

Delta came up with a great idea to organize her own Greenheart Service project to help families at the local shelter. She gathered her friends and prepared a feast that included dishes from all over the world. Meet the whole volunteer gang and see what dishes they made in her video!

Yuliia Arsentieva

YULIIA ARSENTIEVA

Home Country: Poland

Host Organization: Pine Acres Family Camping Resort

Yuliia teamed up with fellow Ambassador Scholar, Dmytro Kuzmychenko, to teach kids in their community about protecting the environment through painting! See how the local kids shared their new wealth of knowledge.

DMYTRO KUZMYCHENKO

Home Country: Poland

Host Organization: Pine Acres Family Camping Resort

Dmytro discovered the many reasons why he loves Boston, where to go to experience a fast-paced lifestyle, and lastly where to find the best beaches. Go adventuring with Dmytro and see where his travels lead him!

Yuliia and Dmytro

Nattawat Sakvimonporn (right) with his friends

NATTAWAT SAKVIMONPORN

Home Country: Thailand

Host Organization: Wilderness at the Smokies

Nattawat shares his unforgettable summer that was complete with roller coasters, trying lobster for the first time and volunteering. Take a look into his summer to see his summer and what made it so unforgettable!

Nattawat volunteered at an orphanage

Tomas Hunacek

TOMAS HUNACEK

Home Country: Czech Republic

Host Organization: Lacks Beach Service

If Tomas has any advice to share with travelers, it would be this: live like a local. Tomas did just that. He saw a professional baseball game, rode a Jet Ski, went to the World Bank, and attended a car show. Tomas shares his take on each city he visited, and where you should go when you visit.

When coming to the United States, live like a local

By: Tomas Hunacek, Summer 2015 Work and Travel Ambassador Scholar

During my time in United States of America, I did not have much time to travel, but I did get to explore all of Myrtle Beach. I also spent one week at a conference in Washington D.C. In this blog post I will tell you what I experienced and share some moments in pictures. So go ahead and enjoy!

I spent a week in the capital of the United States. I saw a lot. I’m super glad I went there. We visited a theater and traveled by local transportation to get there. By doing this, I got to experience what life feels like for the locals in D.C. I can definitely imagine living there. The streets were clean and the environment was very friendly.

During the Greenheart Global Leaders Conference it was truly a pleasure to present our ideas, not only in front of our new friends, but also in front of some important people from Washington D. C. My friends and I also got to attend a few talks. This experience was unforgettable and enriching!

I worked for a bank for a while so it was great to get a photo in front of the World Bank in D.C. Not only did I take a photo outside of the bank, but we were also invited inside! A few representatives from the bank explained to us the work that the World Bank does. I learned so many interesting facts! Moreover, my friends from home did not believe me when I told them where I had been, so when I showed them the photos I took, they were amazed.

Another great thing that happened: seeing a real baseball game in a big stadium for free. No way! It was such an amazing experience seeing a live game. It was even better that I got to see it with a great group of friends. We also received food vouchers, so I also had great food.

On our last day of the conference we were free to explore Washington D.C. on our own. With so little time, it is surprising how many places I visited. I saw many museums and a few important places in the area. I need to mention that museums there were the best I have ever seen; so many details. You can’t imagine it until you have been there. I fell in love with a store called Marshalls, so I had to visit their shop when I was in D. C.

Nowadays I’m in Hong Kong. It was a nice experience to see Chinatown in D. C. This prepared me for my trip to China. I tried a few restaurants there, and I definitely approved of the quality of food. If you have some time and are visiting Washington D.C., I recommend you visit Chinatown. Go see the big gate and try some Chinese food. There was even a restaurant which had a Chinese menu written in Mandarin.

I spent the majority of my time in the United States working in Myrtle Beach for the summer. I tried to make the most of my free time. Being on Jet Ski was a breathtaking experience. I’m so glad I got to do it. I would like to do it again, and again, yet it’s not really cheap despite the fact that I received a 50% discount from my employer. If I could recommend one thing to do when you are near the ocean: go Jet Skiing!

I’m not really interested in cars, but if I could select one type of car that is my favorite it would be a muscle car. Guess what kind of museum was in Myrtle Beach? A museum of muscle cars! I saw it and it was amazing. Not only did I get to see lots of cars, but the wife of the owner of the museum gave me a free guided tour!

This aquarium is the most visited attraction in Myrtle Beach; there is no doubt why that is. I got to see about 30 sharks there.

Most of my time was spent on the beach. It was always great to do crazy stuff there! I also met the most amazing people there. People in the United States were always friendly to me and my friends. I wish people were like that in all places of the world.

After all the American food, I need to admit that I’m glad I kept my figure. I tried almost everything I could from burgers at McDonalds, Wendy’s and Burger King, to tacos at Taco Bell and sandwiches at Subway. If you want to experience the culture of a nation, you should not forget about food – even if it is so unhealthy. That is all part of living like a local!

Antonio Ramon Molina Mendez

ANTONIO RAMON MOLINA MENDEZ

Home Country: Dominican Republic

Host Organization: Funtown Splastown, USA

Wondering what it’s like to work at an amusement park? Antonio takes you on a ride to test go- karts, shows you around the park, and introduces you to his co-workers as

they get ready for an exciting morning at the park!

KENAN KUNC

Home Country: Turkey

Host Organization: Custer State Park

Kenan volunteered in a Greenheart Service project, and was surprised at how he could become so inspired by volunteering. In his blog he says “I felt like I was doing something good for the world, and that feeling was the best part of the whole project.” Hear all about his day cleaning up a highway, and the lessons he learned along the road.

Doing Good for the World

By: Kenan Kunc, Ambassador Scholar

CCI Greenheart staff members, Wioletta and Ariana, visited me and the other CCI Greenheart participants here where I worked in Custer State Park, South Dakota. I met up with them at the State Game Lodge. I was so happy because I got to tell them about my experiences with working and volunteering. I met some new friends from China and we completed a volunteer project that involved cleaning up trash along the side of a highway.

This was such an interesting experience for me. While we were picking up trash, some driver yelled “hellooo” and “thank you!” out his window. Then another driver drove by and used his horn to thank us.

I felt very proud and happy. I felt like I was doing something good for the world, and that feeling was the best part of the whole project.

As we picked up trash, Wioletta and I talked about cultural things, like the differences between Turkey (where I’m from), America, and Poland (where she was born). I told her about some environmental projects that are happening at my university in Eskişehir, Turkey. One is a recycling project, and another involves donating food to animal shelters. Finally we finished, and we did a good job. We picked up all the trash, and I actually think Custer State Park looked so much cleaner.

After the project, we were greeted with a surprise barbecue party at the Blue Bell Lodge at Legion Lake Resort. We ate burgers that were so delicious. I actually grilled some of the burgers myself.

Thank you for the opportunities to volunteer. We are so lucky. We are Greenheart!

THANK YOU TO OUR COOPERATING PARTNERS IN 2015

• CI s.r.o. (Slovakia)
• Click Education 
• Company Limited (Thailand)
• Custer State Park Resort
• Czech-us Work and Travel s.r.o. (Czech Republic)
• EachFuture Cultural Network (China)
• Foster (Poland)
• Funtown Splastown, USA
• ICEP World (Turkey)
• Indiana Beach Inc
• International House Harrisburg
• McBee Enterprises
• OFIT (Dominican Republic)
• Pine Acres Family Camping Resort
• STM Acord (Moldova)
• Sun Communities Inc
• The Students’ Work Travel Programme (Jamaica)
• Wilderness at the Smokies

All of those individuals, companies and communities who made this program a positive success for the participants and all involved — thank you again!