Stefan Hard / Staff Photo
Twinfield Union School senior Meg John is raising funds for a study trip to eight countries through Thinking Beyond Borders. John has pledged to jump for every dollar of the $10,000 she needs to raise, and is posting videos of the jumps to a website as proof.
MARSHFIELD — A Twinfield senior is using the latest trend in fundraising so she can travel abroad after graduation.
Meg John is hoping to raise $16,000 for tuition and travel expenses so she can join Thinking Beyond Borders, an organization that offers a “gap year” program so recent high school graduates can study abroad before starting college. The full cost of the program is $36,000, but John said the program will match every $1 she raises with $2, up to a maximum contribution of $20,000.
To help raise the money, John has created an Indiegogo page. Indiegogo is a crowd funding website like Kickstarter where someone asks the public for money for a project and offers perks related to the project depending on how much someone gives.
John started her page a month ago and has raised just under $5,000 so far. She hopes, by May 6, to raise the remaining $5,000 that she’s asking for on her page called “Jumping Beyond Borders” — so called because John is literally jumping for each dollar she raises and documenting the jumps with video on the web page.
The incentives she is offering donors include photos, a blog subscription, postcards, copies of media projects she completes during the trip and — at the highest contribution level of $1,000 — a meal she will cook from one of the countries she visits.
John said she has also been pledged around $3,000 by people, but that money is not in hand yet.
If John raises the money, she will travel with a group of 18 students and adult mentors to Ecuador, Peru, India, South Africa, China and Cambodia. In those countries, she will do things like work on farms and in clinics for those with HIV.
John said she lived in New York City until she was 10 and has been to France and England, but that this experience would give her a more “worldly perspective” outside the United States and Europe.
John has been accepted to Goucher College in Maryland, and she said the school requires its students to study abroad. She hopes to study anthropology or sociology in college, but her exact focus is still up in the air. John hopes to use the travel program to channel her focus into her college degree.
She said she also hopes to use the trip to educate herself “about the state of the world” and really see what’s going on.
John said she would leave this fall and return in mid-April. She plans to take college courses during the trip, but since the program has been around only since 2008, those classes might not earn her any college credit unless her school agrees to accept them. Credit or no credit, John said it doesn’t matter because the experience is what is most important.
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