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Community Service Programs

In partnership with community members and organizations, we provide a grassroots experience that makes an impact on both our students and our partner communities in the following specialized areas: Education, Environment, Wildlife Care & Conservation, Community Development, and Public Health.

Community Service Trips For Teens

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Global Works is a service organization first and a travel company second. In all of our locations, we partner with communities and organizations to select and implement meaningful teen community service trips. Our philosophy is to work WITH a village, not for a village. In partnership with community members, we provide a grassroots experience that makes an impact on both our students and our partner organizations in the following specialized areas:

Community Development

Global Works establishes relationships with local youth groups, community organizations, and community based committees which strive to foster youth leadership and increased community involvement and participation. Projects may be more construction based in their implementation; but, upon their completion will serve to enhance community cohesion and identity as well as provide locations for local youth to recreate. 

  • Previous high school service trips have included: planning and implementation of community field days, historical restoration, community center visits, and playground building.
  • Examples of Summer service trips for high school students that feature community development projects are: Costa Rica 4-Week Language Immersion and Fiji Islands Cultural Exchange.


Education is a broad category and can be extended to classroom support and instruction as well as infrastructural projects that serve to benefit students and enhance academic institutions. 

  • Previous projects have included: working with local teachers to teach English to local youth, building an additional classroom, a computer laboratory, or a library, as well as planning and executing a day of educational activities with local community children.
  • Examples of programs that feature education projects are: Panama Language Immersion and Peru & Ecuador Language Immersion


Partnerships with national parks, grassroots community organizations, local schools, and conservation agencies provide avenues for Global Works participants to protect and conserve the natural environment. 

  • Previous projects have included: removal of invasive plant species, responsible trail construction and maintenance, beach revitalization, recycling programs, reforestation projects, watershed protection, and the enhancement of infrastructural installments within national parks and wildlife preserves. Additional projects may include: the construction of greenhouses and school gardens that serve to supplement local diets with fresh fruits and vegetables, while decreasing the amount of land needed and resources consumed to do so. 
  • Examples of programs that feature environmental projects are: New Zealand & Fiji Cultural Exchange and  Australia & New Zealand Cultural Exchange

Public Health

Partner with communities, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations on projects and initiatives that target the improvement of health at the local level. 

Wildlife Care & Conservation

Students work with national parks and local wildlife conservation groups to protect vital habitat and threat-ened wildlife populations in diverse regions around the globe. 

  • Previous international service trips for teens have included: assisting in wildlife rehabilitation and reintroduction centers, providing hands-on animal care, conducting wildlife research, and participating in the revitalization of vulnerable wildlife habitat.
  • Examples of programs that feature wildlife care & conservation projects are: China Language Immersion and Costa Rica Surfing.


Global Works groups process service learning through reflection meetings.  Trained staff leads spirited discussions about projects, accomplishments, challenges, cultural differences, impact on the community, sustainability, etc.  You may also use at least one of these meetings to discuss how the work project was set up, Global Works’ philosophy on service projects, what the long term effects of the project will be, why sustainability is important, etc.


As a part of Global Works’ community service trips for teenagers, participants are eligible to receive a community service certificate documenting their work. The total number of service hours on a Global Works program may vary from 20-80 hours, depending on the length of your program, your program location, and variables beyond our control, such as weather. Generally, students earn 10-15 hours per week.  After your program ends you will receive a “Community Service Certificate.” This document notes the number of hours you completed and a detailed description of the tasks and projects accomplished. We are also happy to complete any further documentation needed to earn community service hours for a school or civic organization.

The President's Volunteer Service Award

Global Works is a Certifying Organization for the President's Volunteer Service Award. The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation created this program to recognize volunteer service contributions: "[the award] honors United States citizens and lawfully admitted permanent residents of the United States who have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12-month time period – or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime." Recipients receive the official President’s Volunteer Service Award pin, a personalized certificate of achievement, and a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama. For the Bronze Level of participation, the minimum eligibility requirements for kids (age 5-14) is 50-74 hours in a 12-month period and young adults (ages 15-25) is 100-174 hours in a 12-month period. For more information on the President's Volunteer Service award, please visit their website


We encourage continued interest in service work, humanitarian efforts, and environmental preservation throughout the lifetimes of a Global Works participant.  Through debriefings and discussion, we map out the way participants can continue this type of work in their future.  The trip journal serves as a reminder to the group of the value of their efforts and contributions to the service work they completed!

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My Global Works trip was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much about myself and the world I live in. There is also something really amazing about traveling with people your age. You have experiences that you couldn't have any other way. I loved the activities, service and the great people that I was exposed to. The trip was so cool I would recommend it to anyone who wants to try something new.

Hannah Gelbort, Costa Rica Participant

I learned how independent I can be, I love to travel, I want to learn a different language!

Millennium School Participant