Student Testimonials

[pl_blockquote cite=”Murray, Student, Columbia Grammar and Prep, NY”] It was absolutely, UNDOUBTEDLY the most amazing experience in my life. I was recently at a different camp and all i could do was talk about Ecuador and what I learned and saw there. I cannot thank you guys enough for creating a program that really focuses on growing and education as opposed to just a vacation. Sustainable Summer has made me not only grow as a student in my interests, but also as a person. It taught me leadership and instilled a need to have an impact on society and how we treat the environment. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Stella, Student, The Hotchkiss School, CT”] My time in Ecuador was more eye-opening than I expected and I had more fun than I could have asked for. I was deeply inspired by my trip leaders, and the work that they do. I learned so much in such a short time span not only about the environment but also about people, power, and leadership. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Erin, Student, York Community High School, IL”] I grew so close to so many people and I know our friendships will last a very long time. Not only were the other students amazing people but so were the leaders. I had so much fun with them and will never forget my Sustainable Summer experience. Sustainable Summer has impacted my whole life. I see everything in a completely different way. I have learned so much about sustainablility and how I can take steps to live a more sustainable life. Through this trip I have realized how interested in this subject I am and will probably go on to study environmental sustainablility in college. I also want to take another trip through Sustainable Summer next year to further my knowledge and for more fun! I would like to say that going on this trip was one of the bet decisions I’ve ever made. I learned so much about environmental sustainability and I had so much fun at the same time. I made great friendships that I know will last a lifetime. The leaders on the trip were some of the nicest, most caring people I’ve ever met. I cannot thank everyone at Sustainable Summer enough for this amazing experience! [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Jillian, Student, Watchung Hills Regional High School, NJ”] Although I learned quite a lot about sustainability, focusing on the environment with a lens on energy, water, and agriculture, the main impact Sustainable Summer left was in mindset. It’s very difficult to put into words and explain without you, the reader, having experienced it with me. I feel inspired. I have never been so incredibly happy to know nothing about the world. This may not make sense, but somehow this epitomizes the trip. I have never been so excited to realize that there is still so much more out there for me to learn: culture, history, language, food, medicinal plants, sustainability, etc. all around the world. If you’re only ever told that darkness is light then you will always be content with the darkness, assuming it to be light; and when a small light flickers you think you are much more cultured and open- minded than the rest of people living in complete darkness, in ignorance. You believe that the small outlines of truth in that flicker of light prove that you live an un-sheltered, cultured life. Until you open your eyes. This trip has been like a flash of light. And now that I know what “light” really is, I have a hunger for adventure, a hunger for knowledge, a hunger to educate those around me on what I have learned. I have a hunger to never close my eyes and to feed my light source with more knowledge and experience. I have a hunger for the world. And I am insatiable. We took part in some potentially dangerous activities- it was the real deal- yet I still felt completely safe and exhilarated because of the expertise of our guides. Even when placed in unnerving situations (like horseback riding up a steep mountain, white- water rafting, or taking a night hike with coral snakes at a mere arm’s length), we were confronted with first- hand knowledge and experience by professionals talking about medicinal plants, alternative energy, permacuture, etc. Instead of being terrified or nervous, I could instead thoroughly enjoy the activities and allow myself to partially let go and trust in the natives. I just think it was an overall incredible experience and I hope you never stop providing student with this incredible opportunity. Thank you, Jeff and Anne, for proving us with such a well- balanced, incredible, exhilarating, exciting experience that allowed me to form such tight bonds with my group while also learning a great deal about sustainability and just as important, myself. I hope this company always remembers how great a service it is doing to humanity by spreading such education in such a manner. This has definitely been the most influential experience of my life and although I am so torn over leaving (everyone was crying and hugging at the airport), I am honored to have met everyone involved- from my leaders to my friends to you both. Thank you again and good luck in the future- I would recommend this program to anyone in search of an adventure who wants to save the world one drop in the bucket at a time. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Anneliese, Student, Robbinsville High School School, NJ”] Sustainable Summer was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. The leaders were helpful, the accommodations were amazing, and the lessons were both educational and intriguing. This trip was a life-changing opportunity and I am so grateful to have experienced this. Sustainable Summer has definitely whet my interest in raising environmental awareness and improving the carbon footprint of our community. It has also allowed me to experience what a career in environmental science would include, as well as the our generations’s need for more educated environmental leaders. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Lillian, Student, Corona del Sol, AZ”] I had so much fun and can not stop thinking about how beautiful the country and my experience was! Thank you so much Sustainale Summer! The fact that we had so many unique opportunities and places to go meant there were no boring days!! I loved every minute and learned a lot about the country, sustainability and myself. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Michael, Student, The Hackley School, NY”] I had an amazing experience and loved the group that I was traveling with. Sustainable summer has changed my views on the environment and sustainability as a whole. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Sarah, Student, Santa Barbara High School, CA”] I did not expect much when signing up for this program, I assumed it would be pretty standard. I was so wrong. I cannot put into words how grateful I am for these past four weeks. I am so thrilled that I ended up coming and it was 100% worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat. My interest in travel and environmentalism has sparked. I am so much more interested in agriculture and sustainable practices now. I think it effected how I am going to live my life in the future and the types of people I plan to surround myself with. I really enjoyed the outdoor activities and new experiences but what shocked me is the relationships I made with other students. I went in expecting to get along with the other students but put all my energy into the program and environment, but the incredible relationships I formed, and the people I met really surprised me. I think that the type of students who enroll in Sustainable Summer programs have a sort of independence, free spirit, and excitement about life that is difficult to find anywhere else. Choosing kids that are strong yet easy going, seems to lead to a well-rounded and intellectual group of individuals. My favorite memories are equally dispersed between conversations with my peers and activities. I made friends that, without a doubt, I will continue to connect with for a long time to come. Thank you! [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Kate, Student, Foothill High School, CA”] Sustainable Summer has COMPLETELY changed my life. It exceeded my expectations in so many ways, and because of the amazing things I have experienced and learned, I feel like a more confident, knowledgeable, and worldly person. Our group was extremely intellectual and forward-thinking, and I learned SO much about the world and sustainability from our heated debates and stimulating conversations. Since I have gotten home, I have gone to the library to check out numerous books on my biggest interest coming out of the trip: sustainable agriculture. I am reading six different books about fair trade, organic, GMO-free, sustainably-grown food. I am also doing research on how to create a garden in my backyard, what plants will grow the best, and how to make a compost pile in my backyard. I also have been buying as much organic, fair-traded, GMO-free food as I can. I am planning on instituting a recycling program at my school. Learning all about sustainability and ways to implement the many different aspects of sustainability into my life has been such an enriching and eye-opening experience. I am now planning on studying some aspect of sustainability in college, hopefully sustainable agriculture; and I am definitely planning on having a career in sustainability… and simply living lighter and more sustainable for the rest of my life! I cannot put into words how amazing this trip to Costa Rica with Sustainable Summer was for me. I met the most amazing people I have ever met in my life, from the best friends in my group to the loving Ticos and Ticas. I saw the most beautiful jungles, rain forests, waterfalls, rivers, and animals that I have ever seen. I learned so much about sustainability, and discovered a passion for sustainable living. I experienced amazing cultures, and developed a love for this world and its many peoples. I became more confident in myself, and became a leader among my peers. I discovered more about myself and about the world around me in these three weeks than in the rest of my 16 years of living combined. I cannot thank Jeff and Anne and everyone at Sustainable Summer enough for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This experience has changed my life for the better, and I can’t wait to get out and travel the rest of the world, enlightening and inspiring others to save our exquisite planet! [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Isabel, Student, Sonoma Valley High School, CA”] Sustainable Summer has made me realize that I really want to pursue a career involving sustainability. There was so much that I learned from Jeff that continued to intrigue me. It has also helped me figure out what I want to do with my Senior Project for my school. It was honestly a life changing experience and one I will never forget. Thank you for presenting me with this opportunity! It was amazing. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Alex, Student, Horace Mann, NY”] This was my first time doing a teen program and one of my big concerns was the other kids I’d be spending my summer with. It was so awesomely surprising to come in and meet all these like-minded young people with whom I’d get to share these incredible experiences. I made some lifelong friends (not exaggerating). And the trip leaders, they were the best. Everyone on the program was so open on so many levels. Of course we learned a lot about sustainability, but we learned so much about ourselves through each other. I left this program knowing a lot more about how I want to spend my life, in terms of my goals and who I want to surround myself with. And on top of that, I got a lot of guidance and tools to accomplish those goals. I came into the program with plans for my future that were already pretty in line with the setup of the course itself. I really want to work as an intermediary between the US and Latin America in sustainable development and management of natural resources (that’s super general, I know). Getting the formal instruction, as well as the hands-on experience in this program gave me the assurance I was looking for – that this is what I want to do. It helped me figure out what I was interested in and what I was not. Being immersed in the Latinamerican organic farming scene and meeting so many practicing farmers gave me some firsthand experience on what a future in that field might be like and what the problems are that they (and the world) face. Also, the insight of the trip leaders was INVALUABLE. So many great people, I can’t express how much this summer has impacted me. And considering I’m making some big decisions soon about college and all that, it came at the perfect time. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Connor, Student, Madison High School, NJ”] I returned home feeling inspired to make more environmentally friendly changes in my daily life because I had just experienced first-hand a part of the world that is greatly impacted by the changes we make here at home. I also fell in love with Ecuador and plan to spend the next few years of my life studying spanish so that I can return. I will never forget my experiences in Ecuador. It makes me sad to write this right now because I know it means this whole experience is coming to a close. Everything about the trip exceeded my expectations. All I can really say is thank you. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Maddie, Student, Oak Grove High School, CA”] My trip truly opened my eyes to just how much humans impact the land that they live on. I always knew that our pollution and and land use had a big effect on the natural world, but this program showed that even the littlest things, like bring over a plant from another place, could effect the land in a huge way. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Isabelle, Student, Brooklyn Tech, NY”] Sustainable Summer has made me want to hold myself accountable for my choices and actions and I want to change my lifestyle. I was ALWAYS being pushed to try something new and scary and I want to say thank you for giving me a trip that totally changed me for the better. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Renee, Student, Granada Hills Charter High School, CA”] The program, by far, exceeded my expectations in every aspect. I believe everything was very well organized and the leaders worked great together to make sure everything was carried out efficiently. The whole experience with Sustainable Summer has truly taught me the value of happiness and how little I need to be happy. At Shiripuno, without electricity and any communication to the outside world, I was the happiest I have ever been because each and everyday I was doing things that I love, such as hiking the jungle, with people that I enjoyed doing it with. Going back to Coca after our time in Shiripuno, I was in some sort of daze, longing for the clarity of the wilderness. The activity we did where we had to choose the 10 items that we would bring on a deserted island and gradually narrow down also put things into perspective the connection between material possessions and happiness. I learned that in order to be the change you wish to see in the world, you must purse the actions which you desire because in the end you are the only one in control of your own conscience. I am very grateful to have been apart of this program. I think the organization has great intentions and I believe it will have no problems being successful in the future. Each and every day of the trip, I expanded my palette of knowledge and of environmental awareness. The group became much more comfortable together as the trip progressed and it made it that much easier to push yourself out of your comfort zone, knowing that the group was there to support you. All in all, it was truly one of the best experiences I have ever had and I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Enrique, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, NY”] Sustainable Summer will be one of those chapters in my life I will never forget. It was definitely a good learning experience but it was also an opportunity to get to know one’s self. My personal experience overall was very positive and I enjoyed every event. [/pl_blockquote] [pl_blockquote cite=”Camille, Hackley School, NY”] I’ll miss climbing through the dense jungle and finding magical waterfalls. I’ll miss avocados growing on trees, the rich red soil, and feeling one with the clouds. But mostly, I’ll miss the people I’ve met. [/pl_blockquote]