My name is Annie B., and I’m a junior in high school in Decatur, Georgia. Thanks to the Live Like Ally Foundation, I am going to the Dominican Republic this summer to build sustainable houses and community buildings. I am so grateful for this opportunity!

I have always been passionate about both travel and volunteering. It has been a given in my life that I should help those that I can. If you see someone hungry, and you have the means, buy them a meal. If you’re in good health, lend a hand to someone who isn’t. I am also in love with travel, with discovery, with adventure. I love the freedom it brings. I’m not much for the beaten path, and I strive to find the unexpected in every place I go. Sometimes that new destination is close to home, sometimes it’s far, but both are worth exploring, because you never know what could come out of stepping away from what you know. In all of this exploration, I have also developed a deep love for nature, for places untouched and wild. With that came a concern for the environment and the consequences of our human actions.

This summer, I am going to be able to combine these concerns regarding the environment and sustainability with my passions for travel and volunteering. I am going to the Dominican Republic for three weeks to work in sustainable building. This project is not only essential for the community it serves, but also for preserving this beautiful world in which we live. It’s easy to forget that the health of our planet is not a given, and that we could destroy it in the course of our daily lives. That’s what makes this project so exciting. It combines the daily needs of people with sustainability, so that we don’t have to see one as independent of the other.

When I first found out about Live Like Ally and started reading quotes from Ally, I was instantly amazed by her depth of understanding of this world. After just a few words, I could already sense her level of concern and insight into people and the environment. It’s a level of awareness that truly inspires me, and that I will strive to reach in the course of my life. I am so thrilled to go out and leave good marks on those I will serve in the Dominican Republic. I know that in my journey to make a difference, only good will come of following the words of “think higher, feel deeper.”

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