There are a lot of young girls of color who don’t get to jet-set around the world like many white teens do. Just consider my kids. While I would love for my girls Kaitlin, 13 and Mikaela, 11 to travel, I must admit I haven’t sought out a passport. But that doesn’t mean I have no desire or my priorities don’t match with that of white moms! There are dozens of teens and tweens who want to travel with heart, but in many underserved communities the reality to travel abroad usually takes a backseat to economic issues, and even more, there’s just no urgency or priority to obtaining a passport to travel globally.
Why is that anyway? Well we need to start thinking about traveling with our kids and seeking out travel programs like the one I’m about to tell you all about!
There is one woman, however, changing the travel game when it comes to getting a global permission slip for dozens of young girls across the globe. Tracey Friley is the founder of the Passport Party Project, (PassportPartyProject.org) an organization dedicated to helping teen girls gain access to a passport and travel on exciting global excursions with Tracey and her crew of dedicated travel mentors. “The goal is to inspire these girls to use their passports to ultimately take their first-ever trip abroad with mom or dad,” said Tracey.
“For these girls, passports aren’t a priority in their households. Travel is likely a luxury and not a lifestyle. Having a passport has the potential to change how a young girl views herself and her place in the world,” said Tracey.
Tracey’s a veteran global jet-setter and founder of OneBrownGirlinParis.com. Tracey’s global project is taking the world by storm and right now she’s in the last leg of her Phase 3 project of seeking out 15 applicants who will travel with her next June to Toronto, Canada. This THURSDAY October 15th is the deadline! Fifteen lucky girls, ages 11-16, will be selected to participate in online global awareness training with an assigned Travel Mentor and get their passports stamped on an epic trip to Toronto for 9 days of exploration and service.
Just know this project isn’t for helicopter moms with a faint heart. The goal is to inspire these girls to use their passports to ultimately take their first-ever trip abroad with mom or dad. Teens who are chosen to go with Tracey with likely be traveling abroad for the first time alone.
The Passport Party project is a National Geographic award-winning initiative providing online global awareness training, first passports and first time global travel experiences to underserved American girls 11 to 15. And let’s be clear: underserved is not the same as being poor or at-risk.
Tracey Friley, the founder of the project, explained the motivation behind it to the San Francisco Chronicle: “I hope that by girls getting their first passports, they view themselves and their place in the world in a whole new way. I hope they continue to learn and teach tolerance of other cultures both at home and abroad. I hope they see the change that is needed in the world and then consider how they might help.”
Just think about how much less scarier the world becomes when a teen takes it on –head on. If children are to be taught how great, expansive and unique the world is, it’s best that they actually get a first-hand perspective to see it for themselves, don’t you think?
Tracey’s got a lot of big businesses backing her and believing in the power of a passport too like Expedia and See Toronto Now has just come aboard as a sponsor. And she’s even lobbied for a Passport Emoji and launched a Change.org campaign asking for people to sign the petition!
So here’s your chance to have your daughter sign up to become a part of this initiative before the October 15th deadline! Just go to PassportPartyProject.org and check out Phase 3! Good luck and keep your fingers crossed for my two girls because they applied too!
Hurry and go to PassportPartyProject.org!