1. Amanda Quintana
Amanda first travelled with BLUE in 2014 to lend a hand on an aqueduct project in the community of Los Arroyos, Dominican Republic.
"The 'on the ground' work and engaging with the beneficiaries solidified my decision to enter international development after I completed my Masters in Public Health. BLUE gave me the opportunity to put in the hard work and experience the results all in one trip and for that I am forever grateful!" said Amanda, reflecting on her experience.
After accomplishing her goal of getting her Masters in Public Health, Amanda started working at USAID as a Program Analyst for Child Health and Immunization. Since she recently began her post-grad career, she's already travelled with USAID to work with United Nations' agencies monitoring a Polio immunization campaign in India.
2. Alex Alvarado
In Spring of 2017, Alex traveled with BLUE Missions through FSU's Alternative Breaks program. That same summer, he decided to travel to Varanasi, India to work with the organization, Little Stars School, for 6 weeks. All 600 students at the school are from underprivileged communities, and 30 of them call the school "home" through their foster care program.
Alex says he had never served abroad before his BLUE trip, and opened up about learning to think about service as a day-to-day interaction. "On BLUE, I learned how important it is to combine community involvement with service. In India, I decided to start staying after work so I could teach some of the students how to dance salsa and bachata. I also talked to them about how important it was for them to keep fighting, despite everything they had been through."
3. Logan Saliga
Logan traveled with us during her spring break last year to work on the construction of a water project in El Limon, Dominican Republic. After her trip, she realized she wanted to continue making a difference, and applied to be a summer intern in Ollantaytambo, Peru, working with Awamaki. This social enterprise works to empower rural women by connecting them with economic opportunities. Logan said about her BLUE experience, "Being immersed in a culture so unlike my own and still feeling that sense of family gave me the confidence to go seek that feeling elsewhere."
4. Gaby Gosco-Pelfrey
We first met Gaby in 2014 as a spunky volunteer who was vocally passionate about human rights and committed to making a difference in the world. She served on the construction of an aqueduct project in the community of El Bambu, Dominican Republic. Six months later she was back for more, choosing to return to the campo to work on another water project in the Dominican Republic during her spring break. We couldn't keep her away for long as she was back in the campo two months later; this time, as an intern leading trips.
"After working alongside BLUE for six service trips, I realized that providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to developing countries was my calling. I felt that the skills I had developed with BLUE allowed me to recognize gaps across the region where social impact could be targeted."
Gaby today works for the US Southern Command Unit where she collaborates with NGOs and institutions to advance respect for human rights among military and security forces in Latin America. She's even returned to the Dominican Republic with South Com. to continue to serve.