Every summer, Spirit staff travel to different parts of the United States to visit our participants and see the benefits of the Work and Travel program firsthand! During these trips, we can visit our valuable Host Employers, meet our participants and learn about their experience in the US, and host a cultural activity for participants to get to know each other, as well as get to know us.
At the end of July, Spirit representatives Caryn and Anna Marie visited our participants enjoying their programs in South Dakota. Multiple Host Employers host our BridgeUSA participants in the Rapid City, Deadwood, and Keystone areas. What a beautiful location with the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore nearby for participants to enjoy!
Visiting Work and Travel participants at work
Spirit was able to see participants on-the-job working as sales associates, line cooks, housekeepers, and more. Caryn and Anna Marie were even checked into their hotel by their own participants working as front desk workers!
Participants were able to share their favorite memories from their time in the United States this summer and share their experiences as they learned to grow and become more independent on this program.
One of our participants working in Deadwood, SD was a returning participant that met Anna Marie four years ago during another one of Spirit’s trips to visit participants in Tennessee. It was a sweet reunion, and many photos were taken! The participant is from Turkey and the store she works at even sells Turkish lamps—a small slice of home!
Free concert and pizza in the park
During the visit, Spirit was able to host the participants at a concert in the park and provided free pizza! Almost 35 participants were able to attend and get to meet one another. As always, our participants came from all over the world—Turkey, Jamaica, Mongolia, Thailand, and more.
When the band saw such a big group together, they came over to introduce themselves and learn more about the Work and Travel program, as well as the work that Spirit does to assist these participants. Before the concert began, the band director gave a warm welcome to our participants over the microphone and introduced them to all the local American guests!
The participants took tons of photos together and received Spirit sunglasses, stickers, and other small gifts.