Our organization originated from the personal growth each of the board members experienced during international travel. Collectively, our board has visited and/or lived in over 20 countries and participated in a variety of volunteer projects in communities abroad.
Each member appreciates the personal development experienced through immersion in diverse communities and their cultural values. We believe that, due to the educational value of being immersed in cultures different from your own, access to the opportunity of having international experiences needs to be provided to currently underserved communities.
“Traveling has allowed me to see how our lives are just not our own. The connection we have as humans. I have come to find that we are all bound to others past and present, and by each crime or kindness, we birth our future.” – J-Min, President
Since forming in January 2021, we joined and graduated with the Mockingbird Incubator’s 6th Cohort.
Recognizing the value of cultural immersion and enabling grassroots community-building overseas is not new, with many organizations supporting these laudable efforts. Far from an inclusive list, some notable organizations would be the Peace Corps and Rotary International. Getaway Growth seeks to fill a gap in underserved U.S. communities, where youth may not even know that international volunteerism is available, or may believe that it’s not attainable to them in particular.
Getaway Growth seeks to allow youth to travel overseas for three to four weeks. If selected, they will participate in career and leadership building workshops while volunteering and immersing themselves in a culture – in addition to traveling and responsible tourism – with all expenses paid. Getaway Growth will spark interest through outreach, a short initial commitment of one month, and the opportunity to continue in repeated trips with progressive responsibility. Further, our program will only be limited based on youth motivation, willingness to progress through the application process, and being legally allowed to enter and exit the United States for the trip.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jung Min Jackson
Born to Korean parents, raised and having spent the majority of her childhood as a third culture kid in Kenya, living extensive years abroad including South Korea, and as an immigrant to the USA, along with having traveled to 22 countries- Min had a first hand view of the effects of poverty on our young generation and quality education. Ever since, any opportunity to bridge the gap, stereotypes between cultures or perceived biases, and bringing a global perspective has always been a fuel behind Min’s life work.
Dalia van Zyll
Travel and education are two of Dalia’s greatest passions. She has traveled to 17 countries and counting, including celebrating her Bat Mitzvah in the Netherlands and volunteering in rural Ecuador.
In Dalia’s free time, she helps high schoolers from low-income neighborhoods with their college applications. She also volunteers with Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), a nonprofit helping Black, Latino and Native American people secure high-trajectory jobs.
Dalia looks forward to bringing international travel opportunities to underserved youth communities for years to come.
Yuejia E.K. Ma
Born and raised in China, Yuejia E.K. has also lived abroad, 1/3 of her life. She volunteered for the Chinese Red Cross Society for 6 years prior to her first international trip. She has traveled to 8 countries, lived and studied in China, Austria, the United States, and Japan. These one-of-a-kind experiences broadened her horizons and provided her with a crossed-culture perspective on life.
After founding a startup that promoted cross-cultural exchange in music, she found out the gap between cultures is wider than what she has experienced in life and realized being able to live through multi-culture is truly a luxury. Having benefited from her cross-cultural upbringing, she is enthusiastic about any opportunity that promotes cross-cultural bridging.
Harley spent over a decade living and working outside of the U.S – including over 9 years in South Korea and 6 months in Kenya – and traveled to many other countries during that time.
He believes in the power of international experiences to change people for the better and to help individuals from different nations and cultures form lifelong friendships, as he has experienced firsthand.
Born and raised in Hawaii and coming from interracial parents, Courtney grew up with cultural diversity. From a young age, Courtney was exposed to different world views without leaving home. As a host family for international students, she learned languages, traditions and beliefs from other countries first-hand. Through her personal and educational experience as a host and tourist, she believes the multifaceted approach to travel and learning is important to developing lifelong skills and building multi-cultural awareness.
Courtney actively volunteers for non-profits for unhoused and underprivileged youth.
GETAWAY GROWTH STAFF
Nicole, a California native of Brazilian descent, has worked with over six non-profits internationally, holding several leadership positions. After overcoming discouraging experiences at her low performing high school, she strives to provide guidance and be a source of positivity for youth.
Traveling to various communities locally and abroad has exposed her to many cultures and the life challenging experiences that accompany travel.
Growing up as an only child to two culturally diverse parents, Monica was always intrigued by people of other backgrounds and learning more about her roots. After having the opportunity to do an educational trip with her Spanish class to Spain in high school, she yearned for more opportunities to travel and experience new cultures and gain independence.
Since then she has had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in college, volunteer abroad, and continues to advocate for opportunities for all to have access to travel. She is a strong believer that traveling and new experiences broaden your mind and perspective and not only teach you about yourself, but so much about others.
With a passport full of stamps and a fervent heart for experiencing diverse cultures, Amanda’s wealth of knowledge and interest in travel began after a life-changing decision to relocate from Oregon to South Korea.
Learning to be comfortable outside of her comfort zone while living abroad has helped forge her path in life, and she continues to live authentically. She is a firm believer that through travel, you start to understand who you are as a person and how to be adaptable and resilient to challenges faced in life circumstances. She would love to give that same invaluable gift to our youth.