Dr. Phillip Hadley
Board Highlight Interview
How many years have you been involved with Via International?
 

I joined the Via board, then called Los Niños, back in the late 1980s. Another board member heard about my interest and experience in Mexico and he invited me to participate in the last segment of the annual fundraising walk that the organization used to plan each year. That weekend I joined the board at dinner in Tijuana, and was immensely impressed by the commitment and talent of the group. They were kind enough to ask me to become a board member. I had no idea that I would be involved for so long! 

 

It sounds like you like to travel.  Do you typically participate in Via trips?

 

Well, most recently, in June, I had the opportunity to accompany Via International in a project with Go Global NC to central Mexico. Via’s role was to coordinate the logistics and program for a group of 45 teachers from North Carolina. While board members don’t usually participate in the field, it was helpful to Elisa and our Mexican staff to have another support person for such a large group. Since I had directed many student trips to the same locations I felt I could be helpful and provide extra support.

 

What made this trip unique?

 

Over the years I have enjoyed participating in many Via activities here in the U.S. and in Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. But this experience was unique for me because of the size of the group and my role as a staff member. Also, it was the first time I had traveled with a group to central Mexico in many years. It was particularly exciting to return to Guanajuato, a wonderful colonial city where my wife and I spent eight summers with student groups many years ago!

 

What was your take away from this journey?

 

This trip gave me the opportunity to see Via’s expertise and excellence in action as both a participant and observer. Preparing and putting into action a two week travel itinerary for such a large group is a daunting task, one that Elisa and the staff accomplished with great success. I was proud to be a member of Via’s team and to feel and observe the wonderful impact the tour had on an exceptional group of educators. The group participated with such enthusiasm and compassion. I am confident their intensive introduction to Mexican culture will have an impact on their classroom.

 

Any last thoughts you would like to share?

 

My summer Mexico experience was a blessing and reminder to me of my fondness for teachers, travel, and Mexico.  It also inspired me to continue my work on the board of Via International, to be able to continue to provide such enriching experiences for students, educators and others looking to expand their horizons. What a great summer!

 

To learn more about Via International and GoGlobal North Carolina here are links to articles from the trip.


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