SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 28, 2012 —
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Four recent University of California-San Diego graduates are traveling the world for a “gap year” adventure – but you won’t find them partying around the globe. Instead, these young women are spending their time volunteering at non-profit organizations.
On behalf of their start-up organization, GiveYourGap.org, the group will volunteer in more than 10 countries in Asia and Europe to give back during their gap year between college and graduate school or full time employment in the U.S. Since leaving in January, they have already volunteered on social and medical projects in the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and India. Last week, they finished a volunteer stint working in New Delhi for Pratham, an organization promoting literacy in India. This week they arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal, volunteering at the Ansa Orphanage and a food program call Curry without Worry.
“We wanted to do something meaningful with this time,” said the group’s co-founder, Kimberly Ang. “Unfortunately we graduated into a really rough economy. It’s discouraging to be stuck in a job where you aren’t challenged. But great job opportunities definitely exist, especially at nonprofits. They just need to be easier to find.”
The group responded by founding GiveYourGap.org, a website resource for taking gap years, volunteering or working in the nonprofit sector.
While Ang and her three team members are traveling around the world, GiveYourGap staff and interns are working to expand the website by gathering individual stories of gap year experiences and reaching out to local U.S. and international communities. The website is also tracking the progress of the group of four, posting their experiences in print and video.
“The response to the site has been incredibly positive,” said Joeva Rock, the group’s San Francisco-based marketing and outreach director, who is also a recent UC-San Diego graduate. “People really like our ‘volunteer features’ which allow current gap-year volunteers to weigh in with their experiences and advice. So far they have profiled ‘gappers’ from Swaziland to India, Chile to the U.S. This is our way of expanding the knowledge base and making it easier for people to find the right opportunity for them to give their gap.”
Ang added: “What we’re learning out here is that young volunteers can and do make a meaningful impact. There are great nonprofits doing very critical development work that can use young people like us. Our message now is: come be part of the movement. Give your gap year – change your life, and others.”
EDITORS NOTE: Kimberly Ang and her three colleagues are available for print, radio and video interviews direct from their global locations. Additionally, Joeva Rock is available for interviews from her base in San Francisco.
CONTACT: Joeva Rock GiveYourGap +1-415-722-0905
Bill Blanning Blanning Communications Group +1-714-916-4309