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Inspiring Young Travelers and Creating Global Citizens with the Passport Party Project

     
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A Passport Party participant shows off her recently acquired passport.

Vote for the Passport Party Project to win $25,000. Click here to vote.

It all started with a passion for travel and a dream of helping young girls become “global citizens” through travel. What emerged was The Passport Party Project — an initiative developed by travel writer, Tracey Friley (@OneBrownGirl), and supported by other travel lovers.

Do you love traveling? Do you understand what it means to be a global citizen? Did you know only 40 percent of Americans have their passports? Friley is working to change that by helping young girls, ages 11-15, who may not otherwise have the opportunity, get their passports. You can help.

Now through June 3, Phase 2 of the Passport Party Project is up for voting in a contest by G Adventures to award one cause or initiative with $25,000 and a chance to pitch their idea at Summit in the Jungle in Costa Rica this September.

A panel of judges will evaluate the top four causes out of over 300 entries (one cause from each of 4 categories out of 16 semi-finalists).

Vote for the Passport Party Project today and every day through Monday, June 3.  Click here to vote.

All about the Passport Party Project

Friley created a travel camp and started by taking kids to the US Virgin Islands. Though a passport is not required for travel to the Virgin Islands, it was a requirement of Friley for everyone on the trip. Later, she gathered kids from around her neighborhood and hosted the first ever “Passport Party.” Using money out of her own pocket, Friley funded the party and gave each girl money to buy her passport.

Two weeks later, Friley attended a travel writing conference where she was provided a spur-of-the-moment opportunity to pitch her idea to a room full of travel writers. Speaking from her heart, she explained what she had done with the first Passport Party, and how she wanted to grow it into a national initiative. Friley received a standing ovation, and two months later, received a sponsorship from Expedia to fund the Passport Party Project.

Through the project, 10 Passport Parties with 10 girls were hosted in 10 cities. In the end, 100 girls received their passports. Each of the first 100 girls are now invited to participate in a contest to earn the first stamp in their passport and win an all-expense paid trip to Belize.

Phase 2 of the project, Friley says, is about creating global citizens. Her goal is to recruit 20 non-profit facilitators who will commit 18 months to the process. These facilitators will be trained in the passport application process so they can introduce the process to girls and their parents nationwide.

Girls selected to participate in the program will complete an online global awareness training and participate in a local or global community service project before completing their passport application. The term will culminate with a virtual graduation celebration.

“It’s about more than fostering travel dreams, says Friley. “It’s about creating global awareness and teaching girls what their responsibility is as a global citizen.” And it all starts here. “Interest in travel starts at home. It starts by being interested in your neighbors, classmates and peers who are from different cultures.”

In addition to finding facilitators, Friley is also seeking corporate sponsors who will donate trips so the girls who complete the program can get their first stamp in their passports. If you would like to help, contact Tracey by email at passportpartyproject@gmail.com or visit the Passport Party Project website.

VOTE for the Passport Party Project

Follow Tracey (@OneBrownGirl) on Twitter
Like Passport Party Project on Facebook
Tweet #PassportPartyProject

Melody Harstine Foster

Written by

I'm a freelance writer with a penchant for Pugs and a portfolio of articles from tech to beauty and beyond. A communicator at heart, my true passion is covering issues promoting positive change in our world. Connect with me on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, or at melodyharstine.com.

  • http://AbsoluteTravelAddict.com April D. Thompson

    Wonderful cause that I’m happy to support!

    • Tracey Friley

      Your ongoing support has made a huge difference, April. #firstfollower

  • Tracey Friley

    Thank you @TwitChangers! The Passport Party Project ended up with the most votes in its category (Knowledge) and came in fourth in votes overall (out of 350 submissions). #goteam