Applications for the 2018 TAP Grants for Gap Year Travel are OPEN: APPLY NOW!
One of the highlights of 2017 was getting the first round of Travel Access Project Grants for Gap Year Travel off the ground. The culmination of several years of thinking, dreaming, plotting, and scheming with my buddy Sean, as to how we might best “give back” to the travel community in a way that became our legacy project.
Travel has framed my entire life. I was nearly born in Guatemala. Traded two years of my schooling for adventures across three countries. Went solo off the continent for the first time at 16 and by the end of my 17th year I was moving out of the country… and it was 25 years before I got back. For ten years we traveled full time with our family and four children, putting all of my parenting eggs in the basket of a firm belief that the world really is the best classroom for people of all ages.
For Sean, his study abroad and gap travel framed his career and the rest of his life. For over 30 years he’s invested his heart and soul in serving the travel community, building businesses and teams that have helped over 100,000 take a long term or RTW journey. I admire that about him so much.
From that heart and shared experience we came to believe that every person should travel and a Gap Year should be on every resume. But that’s not very realistic is it?
Spoiler alert: Sean and I don’t live within fences like, “realistic.”
At every turn, the biggest hurdle to taking a long term trip, or investing in the deep value of a Gap Year, MONEY is cited as the issue. Travel isn’t free. Taking time out of life and work comes at a cost. Some of us are born with more privilege than others, in both the culture that makes travel occur to us as a possibility in the first place, and in the financial framework that would support a trip like a Gap Year.
So we set about thinking on how to create greater access to travel for everyone. How could we get a Gap Year on every resume? The two obvious answers were:
- 1. Lower the cost of a Gap Year (We’re actively working on this, stay tuned!)
- 2. Provide funding for deserving and motivated young people to take a Gap Year
Another thing I respect about my friend Sean is that he puts his money where his mouth is. While we’re working hard on the first problem, and it’s taking some time. The funding problem was one we could chip away at immediately. Last year, Sean, through his companies, BootsnAll and AirTreks fully funded the TAP Grants we awarded. And he covers all of the admin of the non-profit so that every dime that gets donated goes straight to funding a student. Sean would never toot his own horn like that, but I wanted you to know that there are seven young people in the field right now, the first TAP Grant cohort for 2017, as the direct result of his generosity.
This year, Travis Sherry, of Extra Pack of Peanuts, inspired by our initial efforts, has joined forces with us and is funding some of this year’s grants. And Julia Rogers, of En Route Consulting, the amazing Gap Year Consultant who worked with us last year to create pre-departure resources for our first cohort is also providing a Gap Year Consulting scholarship worth an additional $2000.
We’re really excited about the amazing learning adventures that last year’s cohort of TAP Grant Recipients have been blogging about here (I hope you’ve been following them!) and we’re even MORE excited about expanding opportunity and access for up to ten more grant recipients this year!
And please share the link to this post and the grant application widely within your network.
Sean and I really do want every young person to have the opportunity to travel and we’re serious about our big dream of getting a Gap Year on every resume!