We’ve all heard someone talk about a trip that changed their life, perhaps you’ve been on one yourself. Experiencing the Aurora Borealis, scaling Machu Picchu, or having an Eat Pray Love-style jaunt is undoubtedly unforgettable, but excursions are not created equal and certain ones carry more weight than others. The “Quality of Life Road Trip,” which (to summarize) takes at-risk teens on a month-long, countrywide trek to meet with paragons of various communities and establishments, safely fits into the more impactful category.
Organized by the Marin City Health and Wellness Center, the trip takes 20 students (10 boys and 10 girls, ages 13–18) in two vans to 26 cities across the country in 32 days. The annual road trip plays a key role in two year-round Youth Empowerment programs that give underprivileged boys and girls a chance to take part in experiences that inspire them to make healthy life choices. Throughout the course of the excursion the teens stop at historical museums, corporate offices, Ivy League universities and other places where they witness novel life paths and learn about college and employment opportunities. Beyond these stops, the students also spend time with families that show a what a stable and functional household is like. Chicago, New York, Houston, New Orleans and Washington D.C. are among the cities visited since 2013 – this year and in years past the group has also made its way to Canada.
JayVon Muhammad, Chief Executive Officer of the Marin City Health and Wellness Center, has successfully facilitated this once-in-a-lifetime ride for three years, but “The Quality of Life Road Trip” is a privately funded endeavor and help is needed to cover the costs of lodging, food and supplies in order to offset expenses. The Marin City trip is done in partnership with Earth Mama Healing, to get an idea of what the trip looks and feels like and to hear girls giving testimony, take a look at the videos below. To donate to this summer’s trip which takes off on June 29, visit: marincityclinic.org.
Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.