home d.tech life The Future of d.tech’s Travel Program

The Future of d.tech’s Travel Program

Izabella Guerrero | iguerrero19@dtechhs.org | June 9, 2018

Photo by Greg Fenner

You might be wondering, what does it take to be in the travel group at d.tech? What qualities and interests should one have to become a part of this group? In a recent tell-all interview with Director of Student Experience, Melissa Mizel, she revealed what it’s like to be in the group and what it takes to become a part of it. She said, “A passionate group of people who want to share knowledge” are the kinds of people you can find in the group.

Last March, Mizel and Greg Fenner took 14 students from Design Tech High School to India on a service trip to build toilets. “I have always wanted to go to India since I was younger and I really believed in the mission of the group.  Service work is so important for young people to get involved in,” said Mizel. She explained that the group didn’t just go to India for fun and to get away, but to actually work and make the world a better place. Though the trip ended in late March, Mizel has kept the travel group actively meeting, and is hoping to create a program in which students will have the experience of planning and experiencing similar service trips. She said: “I wanted to continue with our travel program here at d.tech because of the relationships we have built and the focus of the mission.”

Not all students who went on the India trip built those relationships Mizel refers to. “During the trip, I didn’t fully resonate with everyone there, not in a bad way, I just don’t see myself working with them,” said junior Tyler Sanderville, who went on the trip. “One benefit was seeing the world through a different lens. I didn’t really discover anything about myself really, I just learned more about the world.” Although he wouldn’t return to the travel program, he fully supports it. “Travel is beneficial to education, you get a better handle on yourself, and you can get a lot of information and inspiration from these places,” says Sanderville. “Over here you have to be like a god, but over there you can change something so small, and it can make a huge impact on the people there.” There are also many benefits from being a part of this group, “Raising all the money in such a small time was a really great skill to learn, living in the Silicon Valley it is a really useful skill to have.”

“Travel is beneficial to education, you get a better handle on yourself, and you can get a lot of information and inspiration from these places.” -Tyler Sanderville

Early efforts in bringing the experience to more students seem promising. During the fourth and final Intersession of this year, there will be a travel program design lab class. “We will focus on building out a travel program experience for ALL students,” says Mizel. She describes future plans as, “creating a system for service, cultural immersion and exchange so that every student at d.tech has access and opportunity.”

Students from d.tech have been all the way to India and to Puerto Rico, so you might wonder, where to next? The team is open to going “anywhere, but mostly Africa,” says Mizel. “I just want to go there, because I want to see a giraffe,” said junior Tyler Campos, a member of the program. Prompted for more serious reasons, he added,  “I want to go there to teach kids English and read books to them, maybe even help build a school.”

Mizel said that next year, the travel program will be an extension class, and possibly a continued design lab class.

The Design Tech High School travel program has some work to do, not only to plan another trip but to create an actual plan for the future. However, Mizel says,“This kind of trip can change your life, service work can change your life. Our program that has a lot of potential for people to experience something that can change their life.  Who wouldn’t want something transformational?”

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