Dustin’s GreenHouse cultivates hope and opportunity in the lives of under-served and under-recognized high school students in Guilford County through unique global and service based learning programs and initiatives. Similar to how a gardener nurtures flowers in a traditional greenhouse, Dustin’s GreenHouse nurtures possibility in the lives of students – striving to equip them with the values, sense of purpose, perspective and support they need to grow into compassionate, well-rounded and productive citizens.
2013-2014 Dustin's GreenHouse Globetrotter- PERU UPDATE
In late June, Dustin’s Green House (DGH) headed out with 17 amazing students on a journey that began in early January. This unbelievable journey had been in the preparation stage for over eight months- one that included a leadership development program, fundraising events, swamp adventures in the wetlands of southeastern NC, and one that has now culminated in Peru with a week in the Amazonian rainforest and another week in the Andean highlands. The team consisted of 17 students chosen from area Guilford County High Schools. This was DGH’s largest team in their eleven year history and the fourth time the organization had journeyed to Peru on their annual service-learning, cultural immersion adventure.
Dustin’s Green House, a local non-profit philanthropic organization, cultivates hope and opportunity in the lives of high school students in Guilford County through unique global education and service learning based programs and initiatives. Similar to how a gardener nurtures flowers in a traditional greenhouse, Dustin’s GreenHouse, headed by Martin and Lou Green, and directed by Grimsley High School’s IB Philosophy/ History teacher, Freebird McKinney, nurtures possibility in the lives of students – striving to equip them with the values, sense of purpose, perspective and support they need to grow in to compassionate, well-rounded and productive citizens.
Annually, Dustin’s Green House runs the Globetrotter Program, which is an interactive and “outside of the classroom” learning experience that focuses on self-actualization, leadership development, service learning and global exploration. The program, includes a 6-8 month in-country curriculum, as well as a 2-3 week international trip that combines physical adventure with cultural enrichment and philanthropic service learning. This 100% volunteer run organization has given high school teenagers the opportunity to travel to South Africa, Guatemala, Uganda, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Romania and Hungry in hopes of creating an international impact that has reverberations felt in the local communities of High Point and Greensboro. Some of the highlights of their past service-learning adventures include: Habitat for Humanity home building in Ecuador; a week-long yacht stay in the Galapagos Islands, including becoming certified in scuba diving; great white shark cage-diving in South Africa; planting a garden at a local orphanage; meeting Archbishop Desmond Tu-Tu and visiting Robben’s Island; a week-long stay at a private reserve on the border of Kruger National Park; and working with area schools to develop leadership training programs.
This year’s Globetrotter Team went to Peru, living in the Amazonian basin for one week engaged in service learning projects and exploring the geography and wildlife of one of the world’s largest rivers, as well as a week in the Andean highlands, where took a three-day trek reaching heights of 16,000 ft. and visiting Manchu Picchu, to explore Incan ruins. Teaming with a local organization, The People of Peru Project and Paul Opp, the Globetrotter team participated in home-stays, rebuilding projects, cultural immersion experiences, Amazon exploration, and working with a local teen-rescue facility, “Popi’s House”, while they lived in Iquitos (a city that you can only reach by boat or airplane). While the team lived in Cuzco (a city around they trekked the Andes mountain range, worked with schools, visited local businesses and homes, and explored local markets. All in all, it was an authentic, impactful, meaningful, and challenging experience that immersed a group of high school students in an opportunity that hoped to develop empathy, understanding, purpose, and insight so that they could return to their own community and “Be the Change” they want to see in their own world.
Currently, DGH is in the planning process for their adventure next summer and will begin the application process in early September. For further information as to how you can become involved with Dustin’s Green House and their Globetrotter program, please contact Freebird McKinney, firstname.lastname@example.org, 336-686-3323, and visit DGH’s website, www.dustinsgreenhouse.org.