I’ll never forget how much I enjoyed my high school French classes. My teachers were masters at making sure our lessons were fun and engaging. You can imagine how excited I was when those same teachers put together a trip to France for all of their students. I remember rushing home, excited to tell my parents about the itinerary. Imagine my disappointment when they said the trip was too expensive. I made up my mind then that I would someday not only travel to France but see as much of the world as I possibly could.
A decade later, as a graduate student, I finally had my opportunity to study abroad and completed a program in International Business in France. Seeing the Eiffel Tower, many of the famous Chateaus and the famous Loire Valley was a dream come true. The experience, from taking in the culture to making lasting friendships, had a huge impact on my life and changed my goals and the way I saw the world. I couldn’t help but wonder what my life would have been like if I had been able to have that same experience years earlier. After my return, I began encouraging other students to study abroad. The biggest barrier, of course, was always the cost. Additionally, most of my peers didn’t see studying abroad as an obtainable goal.
That is what inspired me to start World Smart. I believed that if I could remove the burden of cost and catch students at a younger age, I could have a positive impact on their lives. Since my trip to France, I've traveled to China and Uganda and continue to explore the world as much as possible. I have been blessed to build relationships with organizations and people who believe in our mission. World Smart has gratefully received foundation grants and gracious individual donations. However, although we are still a non-profit, our goal has always been to become a self-sufficient program. World Smart Apparel gives us the opportunity to grow our project in a way that is more sustainable. In addition to our growing selection of apparel, in this space, you will find blogs on my adventures, guest blogs from other travelers, and updates on the progress of World Smart and our Leaders. I am glad you are here and hope you will continue to support us as we make a difference in the lives of our youth.
Byron “The Adventurer”