It's safe to say that our generation has a healthy fascination with travel; just look at the images of melaninated beauties in formation on the beach of St. Kitts and 100+ young black professionals dabbing atop the ski slopes in Breckenridge, Colorado.Good beach day ️ [ @kashi88 ] #HardlyHome #LetsGoOnALivingSpree A photo posted by Let's Go On a Living Spree ️ (@hardlyhome) on
(1/3 of the group) Sometimes you gotta.... #DabOnDemSlopes !!! #liveschemedream A photo posted by The Scheme Team (@theschemeteam) on
To ensure that tomorrow’s black leaders benefit from exposure to other environments, peoples, and cultures like we have, group travel agency Hardly Home and millennial-targeted lifestyle company The Scheme Team have joined forces for a unique fundraising campaign laser-focused on inspiring the next generation to travel the globe. The intention of the Passport Program is to our local youth through travel and study abroad programs while ensuring they are equipped to take advantage of these global opportunities.
Our generation loves to travel. But what about the next?Photo: Courtesy of The Passport Program
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou
If you’re anything like me, curating trips with your closest friends, studying abroad throughout Europe in college, and experiencing global trips such as “The Yacht Week” have all been gifts that thoroughly changed your life and shaped who you are today. It's paramount that our younger brothers and sisters reap these internal profits of travel as well.
In preparation for Passport Awareness Month in September (doesn’t it seem like we have months for everything these days?), Hardly Home and The Scheme Team have set an ambitious goal of raising funds to sponsor 100 passports for high school and college students in the Houston Metropolitan Area.
Why is this so important to people like me? Glad you asked. I grew up very fortunate in a loving middle-class family. As a child, my family took trips all over the United States as well as abroad, which first watered my travel-seed. Studying abroad in Metz, France while attending Georgia Tech cultivated my travel-plant and now as a young professional my travel plant is in full bloom.
I realize that I may be an anomaly when it comes to my past travel experiences and that is why The Passport Program is so important. The program is offsetting the cost of passport application fees ($135 per passport) for Houston-Area students between 16 and 20 years old. Priority will be given to students with financial need and those applying to (or enrolled in) study abroad programs.
If you would like to donate to The Passport Program and aid in the global experiences of tomorrow’s leaders, you can make a donation here. If you know of a deserving Houston-Area student, they may apply for a sponsored passport here. The two organizations are looking forward to expanding the Passport Program beyond Houston and curating events that continue to inspire the love of global travel for tomorrow’s leaders.