Vanessa Foss: Costa Rica-Bound

Hard work, dedication, selflessness, and ambition - these are all qualities of a volunteer. Most spend their time, helping out in their community. Breakfast programs, church functions, and schools are just some of the many places volunteers can be found. Some of the lucky ones even get to embark on an amazing journey that takes their volunteering to the next level. Some only dream of this, while others make it a reality.

For 21-year old, Vanessa Foss of Oromocto, NB, her dream is one step closer to becoming the real thing. On Oct. 12th, Vanessa will be traveling to Costa Rica on a six week volunteering trip to help out in orphanages, day-care centers, soup kitchens, community centers and kindergarten classes. With the help of International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ), Vanessa, along with others, will be spending their free time helping those in need.

Foss is currently a student at the University of Toronto, but is taking a small break from coursework to do this trip.

It's something she has always dreamed of doing, and she says she cannot wait to embark on a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Volunteering abroad is something I have always wanted to do. There are so many children in need across the world, and I have always wanted to have the opportunity to make a small difference in someone’s life," says Vanessa.

Although a small difference in someone’s life can be a risky thing, Vanessa doesn’t seem overly concerned with travelling to Costa Rica. Vanessa acknowledges that travelling in a third world country as a young woman isn't the safest thing to do.

"After narrowing down my top three countries, which Costa Rica was one of them, it all came down to the safety and where I would be the most safe," she says. "I also [chose] Costa Rica, because, although they do have a strong government, increasing tourism and a lot of resources, it is causing a huge problem to their country where people from countries nearby are moving here, which is causing a high rate of unemployment and homelessness.”

This may be her first time volunteering abroad, but Vanessa is certainly no stranger to the volunteering world. In fact, she has been volunteering around her community since she was in the eighth grade, but is taking this trip to expand her horizons.

With the help of family, friends and some generous sponsors, Vanessa will start her next chapter with high hopes and prayers.

“I guess I just realized that now is the time to pursue this trip, while I am young, can travel and not only make a difference in someone else’s life, but my own as well," she says. "I believe that travelling is not only being able to experience another’s culture and see the beautiful world out there, but also educating. I am very excited to be able to give my time and volunteer with children, meet new people and gain experiences that will last a lifetime."

If you want to know more about Vanessa or would like to sponsor, you can visit this link.