MIAMI – Ten high school students from Miami-Dade County arrived back to South Florida late last month after traveling to London, South Africa and Namibia, courtesy of the Nyah Project.
"In the last couple years, we have 35 fellows that we have taken to Ghana, Costa Rica and now Namibia," Leigh-Ann Buchanan, of the Nyah Project, said. "The slogan is, 'travel awakens leaders,' and these leaders are woke," said one sponsor, Brandon Okpalobi.
The teenagers, many who had never met before, met with world leaders and local children as they learned about culture and world views.
"We had to have open minds. It was a learning experience all the way around," Miami Springs High School student Claudia Corujo said. "We learned different dances. They taught us dances, we taught them dances that we do here, we did flash card math games. It was all about opening discussion."
Students said the most transformative experience was outside the classroom in the wild.
"We weren't expecting that we would have to eat outside, take showers outside and sleep outside with animals. That was the hardest but (also the) easiest part," American Senior High School student Dewayne Martin said.
"I expected Africa to be more plain," School for Advanced Studies student Alvin Huezo said. "There were more cities and more animals I never even knew of."
With Africa under their belts, the students have a lot to write about on their college essays.
"When I was younger, I never saw myself traveling as far as Africa, so to do this, it was just great," said Nia Sweet, of the Carrollton School for the Sacred Heart.
Next year's group will travel to Bali.
Click here to learn more about the Nyah Project.