My Experience with Passion Impact… so far

My experience with Passion Impact has brought me nothing but contentment. Ever since I joined in December of 2019, I’ve had so much fun making new friends and gaining new skills that are just necessary for everyday life. I had the pleasure of getting to know Stefan a little better. He is the founder of PI and a great person in general, almost everything I learned while being a part of PI is thanks to him. When I heard about the internship, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to continue being a part of the Volunteer Event Program through summer. Signing up for it, I was expecting it to be similar to what VEP looks like, but when the time came for it to start, I realized that it’s way better than that. 

During the internship, we are being trained to be VEP leaders. Every intern who is a part of the internship is going to be a committee leader when the school year starts. We are being taught skills that public schools don’t teach us, such as resume and cover letter writing, ways to answer job interview questions, and much more. Throughout the internship, there were projects that we had to do. These projects required us to use skills that we would need as leaders and slowly, but inevitably, we became prepared to be leaders of the VEP members we recruited. I’m really glad I was able to be a part of this internship because it taught me some fundamental skills that I don’t think I would’ve learned anywhere else.

Written by:
Helen Nikitin
Development Committee Leader of the VEP
Read more about Helen here:

Zac and Smart Roots Global

I met a guy by the name of Zac Ziebarth on Semester at Sea. His low commentator voice makes you feel automatically at ease and in awe, especially when his stories draw maps in your mind creating a vision of his experiences.

The day prior to leaving Austin, I had called Zac to surprise him with the news that we would be passing through Phoenix. Ironically enough, he was on his way to Austin to surprise me. It even turned out that the day we left, he rolled into town for a day. Gah! I was frustrated! So close to seeing such a great friend, but yet so far.

Then we broke down and spent some time in El Paso, which gave Zac time to return to Phoenix. Another surprise call to him was all we needed – he offered his place and a shower. Seriously, more than we could have asked. Aside from enjoying his air conditioning and clean water, we were compelled by the synergy that was created in his home. Zac is in the process of ramping up his organization, Smart Roots Global, which provided grounds for countless questions about both of our organizations and what possibilities lie ahead.

Smart Roots believes educated students possess the solutions to create a sustainable world. They will empower students with sustainability education by providing teachers with the resources, curriculum, and training resulting in a more sustainable world. He has a lot of obstacles in front of him with many people doubting his idea, but from our visit, his passion was evident. Zac is on his way to bettering the world. 

His goal is to implement his kits in classrooms in Kenya and Ghana by January in hopes of gathering feedback to refine the program. I know he is Africa-bound and will surpass his dreams – keep an eye out for this guy! Reach out to help  him if you believe in what he is doing: [email protected]