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Why Scholars Wander

April 8, 2015

“Today’s post comes from the co-founders of The Wandering Scholar, Shannon O’Halloran Keating and Tamara Walker. We celebrate their achievement in continuing to push students to think critically and engage in communities that aren’t familiar to their own.

The Wandering Scholar is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to make international education opportunities accessible to low-income high school students. It was founded in 2009 by Shannon O’Halloran Keating and Tamara Walker, after a chance meeting that revealed similar formative travel experiences. Both traveled to Mexico on scholarships in high-school and studied abroad as college students in Argentina, in both cases with the help of generous scholarships. Without those scholarships, the trips would have been impossible, along with the experiences that came along with them and the opportunities both founders enjoyed thereafter.” Read more over on our partner’s page at Everyday Ambassador.


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A Conversation with The Wandering Scholar Co-Founders

January 5, 2015

“Back in September, I attended a screening of the new documentary calledGringo Trails at Hostelling International NYC. The film was about the darker side of the backpacker’s journey: the impact on local cultures around the globe.

When I walked in, I was greeting by the The Wandering Scholar team along with the smell of bagels, cookies, and coffee. Yum. It was the first time I participated in an event hosted by the The Wandering Scholar, and of course once I found out there were two awesome women running the show, I wanted I wanted to learn about the co-founders, Tamara and Shannon. A few conversations later, we set up an interview. Here’s some of the backstory of two amazing entrepreneurs.” Read more.



Program offers students a once in a lifetime experience
January 21, 2013

Not many high school students would wax poetic about a summer spent digging ditches and pouring cement, but then again, not many high school students get the opportunity to do so in a picturesque village at the foot of a mountain in Costa Rica.

Last summer, Stonington High School juniors Brianna Nolan and Michelle Garvey spent three weeks doing just that, and now they’re eager to share their experiences and encourage other local students to go.

“The main thing about this trip is that there’s not really a price that you can put on the experiences that you have there,” Garvey said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and it really changes your view on life and your priorities.”


A 15-Year-Old From Lyme Finds Hospitality in Senegal, West Africa
October 22, 2012

Fifteen-year-old Isaak Todd lives in Lyme and attends Lyme-Old Lyme High School, but this summer he found himself in Senegal, Africa. He traveled to Senegal with student travel organization ‘Walking Tree Travel’ on a journalism fellowship administered by a nonprofit organization, ‘The Wandering Scholar,’ while his part, in return, was to write an article about his travels there…

“Teranga, what is teranga?  In my first couple days in Senegal, West Africa I heard this word.  I was told that it meant hospitality and expressed the Senegalese culture of sharing.  I was given no clear Webster dictionary definition.  During my stay I began to interpret teranga, what it stood for, and what it really meant.”


Going green in Costa Rica
December 18, 2012

This past summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica for a month. There I learned “going green” and eating organically is more than just a new trend. It is their lifestyle. I found several businesses there that use green technology and families that eat local organic food. They completely embrace the country’s motto of Pura Vida, or in English, Pure Life.


Volunteer in Africa? One cool way to study abroad in high school
November 5, 2011

Study abroad is not just a college experience; Increasingly, high schoolers are going overseas to learn about a new culture or language and shape their future goals.
Catherina Leipold, a senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, spent two weeks last summer living in a village in rural Senegal…The Montgomery County teen said she wanted to see another part of the world, do some community service and practice her French, the language she’d been studying in a classroom for seven years.