Tips for Volunteering Overseas

Helping your own community comes with its own benefits, but there is a whole world out there that needs help. There are parts of the world that are far much less fortunate than us and could greatly benefit from eager and dedicated volunteers. Taking the time to help others outside of your borders is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. When choosing to volunteer overseas, there are a few tips you should follow:

Always Be Prepared

When heading abroad, it’s imperative to be as prepared as possible. Especially if this would be your first time traveling overseas, preparing for the trip is crucial. Make sure to do extensive research on the volunteer program, the destination, budgeting, transportation, projects, and more. Take the time to ask as many questions as you can and getting the answers you need before committing to the overseas volunteer program.

Consider Expenses

Volunteering abroad means traveling overseas to work for free. Some of these projects can take weeks or evens months of time and commitment. Before volunteering abroad, make sure it is something you can afford to do. You need to pay for the airfare, vaccinations, visas, and the charge for the placement in the program itself. This charge will usually cover food, room and board, training, local transport, insurance, and background checks.

Fight the Right Project

There are many different projects that a program will have. When volunteering overseas, consider the different skills that you have and what program would benefit the most from it. For example, if you have a passion or an educational background in animals, consider volunteering for wildlife projects. If you are looking to pursue a career in teaching, opt for a project teaching English to children. This makes sure that the project you are volunteering for will greatly benefit from you being a part of it.

Respect All Cultures

When traveling across the world, you will be introduced to an entirely different way of living. Most volunteer projects take place in third world countries and you will be faced with an entirely different culture. It’s important to remember that you are there to lend a helping hand, not to take charge of their lives. Be respectful of their ways of living and be humble. Not only will this lead to better help them and their community, but it will also be n incredible learning experience for you.


Why Volunteering in College is Important

Going to college marks a very important stage in a person’s life. It is the time when they grow from adolescence into adulthood while figuring out who they want to be in life. This is the time of new experiences and finding discoveries about oneself. This is why college is the best time to begin volunteering. 

Mental Health

It is not a secret that when attending college for the first time, students can often experience depression and anxiety. With the combination of being away from home for the first time and much more pressure of being on their own, it’s easy for students to fall into depression. It’s been found that students who participate in volunteer work were able to ward off depression. By volunteering on a semi-regular basis, students are able to lower their stress, increase their self-esteem, and feel much happier. 

Making Connections

Being away from home and out on their own, many students find it difficult to make new friends. Thankfully, volunteering offers many opportunities to make new friends and connections. Not only are students able to find others who have a passion for helping the community, but they can also build lasting relationships. Often times, volunteering can take place in the same location with the same people, which helps volunteers develop strong friendships. These friendships and connections may also help them career-wise after graduation. 

Improved Resume

Another way volunteering can help students after college is by boosting their resume. Many employers will see the same type of resume over and over again. When they see volunteering on a resume, especially at a young age, many employers are very impressed. It shows a student cares about their community and is driven.  Volunteering can also be viewed as an internship and an alternative way to build and develop professional skills. 

It’s important for college students to find a cause and give back to their community. Not only will they be helping people, but they will also be building themselves a better future. 

Why Foreign Aid is Important for the Children of Africa

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Entry

Africa is geographically the second most populous continent in the world with a population of 1.2 billion people. For a long period now, Africa has been a center of global humanitarian efforts, with aid being channeled into the elevation of human suffering from various adversities. No doubt Africa needs foreign to help its citizens live modest and suffering-free lives. Of all the possible reasons why Africa needs foreign aid, two, in particular, stand out.

Poor economic profile

African countries have for long been struggling to maintain a sound economic profile that can support its citizens to maintain modest lives. The countries, however, pelted by adverse economic profiles and severely impaired production of goods and services, are unable to achieve this objective. Little is produced in African countries that can be exported into other countries of the world to support a balance of trade. Being unable to produce goods and services, therefore, implies that most countries in the continent have their citizens live below as a single dollar per day in terms of income and expenditure.

African countries’ economies are therefore significantly impaired to support incomes for the 1.2 billion residents. Most African countries like Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Mozambique heavily rely on foreign financial aid. These countries have their annual budgets financed up to 50% by foreign aid. Failure to locate foreign aid to such developing countries would imply a major economic downturn that would plunge millions of citizens into abject poverty.

Alleviation of suffering

African countries are faced with other adversities of various dimensions ranging from diseases to natural calamities. Disease is a major issue that affects African countries, prompting the need for humanitarian intervention. Conditions such as measles and polio that are regarded eradicated from other parts of the world are still considered prominent in Africa.

With such a poor economic profile, African countries are unable to inject the necessary resources required to combat such diseases effectively. Aid in the form of vaccines, medication, healthcare infrastructure, and healthcare aid workforce has to be channeled to African countries for the governments to keep up with the rising demand for expenditure in healthcare service provision. Without such foreign aid, African citizens would continue dying of mild and curable conditions such as malaria.

Also, more than half of African landscape is covered by desert and semi-desert conditions which cannot support agricultural production. Food is therefore scarce, leaving millions exposed to hunger while thousands die of the same annually. The continent, therefore, needs attention in the form of foreign aid.


With this in mind, please consider giving to the Ebenezer Foundation. A donation of $85 can feed and educate a child for an entire month. The foundation feeds a total of 452 children a day. All 100% of the donations go directly to the children. To donate today, click here!

from Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Website

Everyone Can Benefit from Going to Law School

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Entry

Some may argue that going to law school isn’t for everyone. I would disagree. No matter what you wish to do with your career, attending law school is something that can benefit every American both personally and professionally. Here are just a few of the benefits that come from the three years of law school studies.

Knowing your rights
This may be the biggest benefit of attending law school. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you thought “is this legal?” or “what are my rights on this situation?” By attending a law school, you can answer these questions for yourself instead of having to seek out and pay for a lawyer. There are many circumstances where knowing your rights can play out in your favor. As an American citizen, a tenet, an employee, or any other facet of life, knowing the law can help you from making a quick assumption that might end in consequential results.

Ability to stand up for injustice
The pursuit of becoming a lawyer can help you in knowing what is legal and what isn’t. For example, many people who receive a parking ticket will grumble about the ticket (who doesn’t when they see those pesky white slips tucked under the windshield wiper) but then give in to paying the fee. By attending law school, you will know the read the small print on everything, even things like parking tickets. By no means are you above the law because you have your J.D., but you will know how to interpret the law and use it to your advantage.

Negotiation skills
The three years of prep for becoming a lawyer will surely prepare you for any argument or negotiation for the rest of your life. Everything in life is negotiable. In your professional career, this could mean knowing how to ask for a raise and what counter-argument you can give if you’re denied. Personally, it helps you understand both sides of situations which can aid in strengthening all of your relationships.

Effective communication
If you’ve known anyone who’s been to law school, you’ll know how much their courses require communication in the form or writing and speaking. These classes are designed to help future lawyers be purposeful in the way they communicate with others. Things like strategy and alternative outcomes are things most people don’t always consider, but spend a few years in law school and you’ll begin to think about these each time you’re connecting with a friend or colleague.

from Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Website

Inspirational Commencement Speeches: Former President Obama

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Entry

Former President Obama spoke at the Barnard College 2012 commencement ceremony. He began his speech by comparing the class that sat in front of him to his graduating class of 1983 from Barnard’s sister school, Columbia University.

Much like those of 1983, these young graduates were about to set out into a world where the United States was still recovering from a severe economic recession. A recession which claimed more than five million jobs. They saw their parents putting off their retirement; watched friends who had already graduated struggling to find employment. The picture of their future is concerning and unsure, especially as women in a world that has yet to fully offer equal pay for equal work. Even with the plethora of growth of opportunities for women in the past three decades, there are still so many struggles women have to endure.

Obama goes on to encourage the class of 2012 to have a can-do spirit which is the lifeblood of American history. Not all Americans are fortunate enough to receive the skills and training this class of graduates had received at Barnard, but with their help, one day that will no longer be the case.

The challenges we face will always be solvable, but the question is whether we can bring forth the changes that we need. That will to bring about change in our own lives, in institutions, and politics lives inside each of us. Women are no longer just half of the population; they’re now half of the workforce. Thanks to the long strides of women before them, female graduates are now shaping not only their destiny but the destinies of all those across the globe.

Do more than just getting involved. We are a nation that is more than static; we are dynamic. Our focus is faced forwards, not back. New doors are opening every day, and you must seize these opportunities. Not everyone has been given the opportunities that lie ahead for the recent college graduates, so it’s imperative that these opportunities are acted upon when presented.

Lead by example and never underestimate the power that this holds. Earning a degree opens so many new possibilities. A great way to give back is by encouraging another young girl to earn her degree as well. Become a role model, be someone’s mentor. Until you’re able to imagine yourself as what you wish to become, you won’t be able to achieve it.

What the last piece of advice Obama offers is to persevere because nothing worthwhile will ever come easily. Failure is inevitable but what sets apart those who eventually succeed is the ability to learn from failure and refusal to quit.

from Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Website

Inspirational Commencement Speeches: Joyce DiDonato

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Entry

I stumbled upon a list of the greatest graduation speeches of all time the other day. I spent the next few hours listening to all of these inspiring speakings and reflecting on the inspiration it provided to me. I couldn’t keep all of this inspiration to myself, so I’m going to write about it for all of you to read.

The first speech I listened to was by Joyce DiDonato, a great American opera singer. She spoke at Juilliard School’s graduation in 2014 to a class she named ambitious, adventurous, courageous, and talented. Her speech settled around the fact that no one truly ever knows where their journey will lead them, but if they rely on the four truths she’s learned throughout her career, one will always be able to find their center and reset themselves. These are the four truths.

1. You will never make it.
Her blunt delivery of this first, brutal truth took back the audience; however, she goes on to explain that this shouldn’t be interpreted as bad news, but instead fabulous, outstanding news. You’ll never make it because there is no “it.” If you’re always searching for the destination, you will miss out on the journey, and that is what life is all about. You hold an expectation so high in your mind that you will almost always fall short.

2. The work will never end.
Imagine being a student and hearing this dreadfully daunting truth at your commencement, after years and years of hard work. It’s intimidating. DiDonato reveals this truth to inform graduates that the work they plan to do after graduation can become overwhelming, whether it’s unexpected rapid success or heart-wrenching devastating failure. To find their center again, they must go back to the only thing that makes sense, their talent in their work. This is what will bring them solace and truth.

3. It’s not all about you.
This is a lesson many must learn the hard way, and it can be very humbling. Once you’ve learned to accept this truth, it’s empowering and freeing. DiDonato says “glory will always be transitory and will disappear as fleetingly and as arbitrarily as it arrived.

4. The world needs you.
Every individual in this world matters; no one is invisible. DiDonato reminds us to laugh, to play, to fly, and to stop taking everything so seriously. We’re all in this together, and we need to recapture the hope of living in peace with each other so we can thrive together in a vibrant way where each of us grows in wonder and joy.

from Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Website