Houston Students Prepare for a Trip of a Lifetime in the US Southwest Through Learning AFAR

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Inaugural Trip Promotes Cross-Cultural Exchange, Deeper World Views

Fifteen students from Houston’s Energized for STEM Academy will have their first taste of the adventure that awaits them in the US Southwest this summer at a special workshop this Saturday led by Serena Renner, an Editor at AFAR Media. The trip, part of a series of national and international expeditions students across the country will embark upon this summer, is curated by Learning AFAR, the flagship program of AFAR Media’s non-profit arm, the AFAR Foundation. It is made possible through the generous support of Schlumberger and the Pearson Foundation.

Offering exemplary underserved students an opportunity to see the world outside their own city limits, many for the first time, Learning AFAR encourages them to change their perspectives through experiential travel, returning to their communities as global citizens with a greater sense of purpose – changed, inspired, proactive. Each trip combines community service, connection with locals and an experience that offers a window into the world that only travel can provide. Shared goals for the expeditions are: world-view, community, storytelling, tangible goals, and possibility.

This group of students will raft the San Juan River and explore community service, working alongside members of a Navajo Nation community.

Over two summers, Learning AFAR, with non-profit partner Global Explorers, has sent 101 low-income kids to places they might not have otherwise experienced, including Cambodia, Costa Rica and Peru. The 2012 expeditions will take groups to Costa Rica, Maya Yucatan and the American Southwest.

As part of the pre-expedition curriculum, AFAR editors are visiting the participating schools to talk to the students about: the meaning of experiential travel, what makes good writing, what it takes to put together a magazine, how important it is to tell a compelling story. In addition to uploading photos/Highlights from their trips to AFAR, the students will create their own Learning AFAR magazine after the expeditions.

Saturday's workshop: 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m.
Energized for STEM Academy, Inc.
High School Central Campus
9220 Jutland
Houston, Texas 77033

AFAR is the multi-platform travel brand that inspires and guides those who travel the world to connect with its people, experience their cultures, and understand their perspectives. Headquartered in San Francisco, with an office in New York City, the company launched in 2009. Its platforms include the award-winning AFAR magazine, AFAR.com, the AFAR mobile App, the non profit AFAR Foundation; and immersive travel series AFAR Experiences.

ABOUT THE PEARSON FOUNDATION                                                            
The Pearson Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that aims to make a difference by promoting literacy, learning, and great teaching. The Pearson Foundation collaborates with leading businesses, non-profits, and education experts to share good practice; foster innovation; and find workable solutions to the educational disadvantages facing young people and adults across the globe. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at http://www.pearsonfoundation.org.

ABOUT GLOBAL EXPLORERS                            
Global Explorers is a nonprofit organization based in Fort Collins, CO whose mission is to inspire responsible global citizenship by providing life-changing travel experiences for students and educators of all abilities and backgrounds. Our unique educational model equips students to explore science and culture for a deeper understanding of the world, to discover their personal interests and to tackle community issues with passion and wisdom. Visit http://www.GlobalExplorers.org for more information.

CONTACT: Shelley Tatum Kieran, shelley(at)afar(dot)com, shelley(at)afar(dot)com

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Shelley Tatum Kieran
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