Study Abroad Trip Changes Young Filipino Lives

Study Abroad Trip Changes Young Filipino Lives
Study Abroad Trip Changes Young Filipino Lives

May 13, 2019

When a small group of Susquehanna University students left for what is now an annual Global Opportunities (GO) trip to the Philippines in 2010, they had no way of knowing they would change the trajectory of several young lives.

The students, under the leadership of Jeffrey Mann, associate professor of religious studies, traveled to Manila's Smokey Mountain trash dump, which at the time was home to more than 3,000 people who lived and worked in the dump.

With $750 in their pockets from Susquehanna's Alice Pope Shade Fund, the group discussed the best way to invest the money in a way that would support the university theme that year, which was sustainability.

They chose education.

This year, the oldest scholar, Joanna, graduated from college.

“It fills me with such joy to know that not only will Joanna's life be changed through her hard work in high school—but I think about all the other lives that will be changed for the good,” said Katherine Sowers ’12, religious studies. “Her education gives her the means to provide for herself and those around her.”

The group invested their initial $750 to help three Filipino students, and they continue to assist financially to this day, including David Huss ’10, business administration; Sarah Johnson ’12, communications; Kelly Miller ’12, elementary education; and Karen Ward Telyea ’11, religious studies.

The group continues to support another student, Roberto, at between $100 and $200 per year per person.

What's Next?