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The Foundation for Learning and Youth Travel Education

By NomadicMatt
“I would’ve never thought I would have gotten out of my city, where people hurt, and do bad things to one another…..It makes me want to travel and learn the history of every country in the world!”Tija, junior at Anacostia High School

As a former high school history teacher, I know the value of an education. I know I’m privileged enough to be able to travel the world and do what I want because of getting a good education. Not everyone gets that chance. Let’s face it: not everyone is able to travel. Whether it’s money, family obligations, or circumstance, travel is out of reach for a large percentage of the world’s population. Most people never even leave their own state let alone the country (only 35% of Americans have a passport!).

This is especially true for students in underserved communities – from inner city Chicago to the middle-of-nowhere Idaho. These students – in communities and from families with limited resources – don’t get a chance to expand their worldview, meet people from other cultures, and bring what they learn in the classroom to life!

That is why in 2015, I created FLYTE. While many wealthy school districts send students on overseas educational trips, schools and teachers in underserved areas have little or no opportunity to offer their students this experiences. Their schools and communities lack the resources to make such a trip happen. I wanted to create an organization in which was open to everyone around the country. I wanted an organization that helped people in forgotten parts of the country because everyone deserves a chance to see and learn about the world!

At FLYTE, we work with students in underserved communities to promote the benefits of travel, education, and cultural awareness by funding overseas educational programs. We provide teachers and students with the planning and funding they need to take what they learn in the classroom and put it to use in the real world!

Current School Partner


FLYTE has partnered with Excelsior Academy in Newburgh, New York, to send them to Quito, Ecuador, this summer!

Newburgh, once a thriving manufacturing center on the Hudson River, has faced deindustrialization and failed urban renewal attempts that have left the town struggling both financially and socially. Complicating the matter, the Newburgh school district is located in what the FBI has repeatedly named one of the ten most dangerous cities per capita in the United States.

We’re sending 15 Excelsior Academy students to volunteer for ten days in Quito, Ecuador. The students will volunteer at Casa Victoria, a grassroots community betterment program located in a struggling section of Quito, and work with local students helping in an after school program. Not only will they get to experience another culture, country, and continent, but they will also give back while there.

As Excelsior teacher Christine McCartney says, “At Excelsior Academy, we strive to create global citizens who recognize their power to enact change at both the local and global level.”

Here are the students talking about why this is so important to them — and what this trip means to them:

Donations can be made via our Crowdrise page (minimum $10). To add some perspective: $100 covers a student’s passport fees, $350 covers accommodation for one of the students, and $2,500 funds an entire student’s trip!! But no matter the size of your donation, every little bit helps us get these kids closer to Ecuador! Moreover, some donation levels get you some awesome swag:

$50 – For donations of at least this amount, I’m offering my e-books How to Teach English Overseas and The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking, and my guides to NYC, Paris, Bangkok, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Thailand, and Hong Kong.

$100 – For donations of at least this amount, you will get the e-books and city guides PLUS a signed copy of the print book How to Travel the World on $50 a Day and a FLYTE t-shirt (US shipping only).

$250 – For donations of at least this amount, you will get all of the above PLUS an hour of travel planning with me, a souvenir from Ecuador, and a thank you card from the students!

Donations can be made by clicking this link.

Articles About FLYTE

Updates on Giving Back (and an Ask for Help!!)

Today I want to talk about FLYTE, this website’s nonprofit arm. This post has updates on new changes to the program, volunteer and internship opportunities, funding updates, and information about the group of kids we're sending to Ecuador (thanks to you!)

How These Kids are Giving Back in Ecuador

This group of students are going to Quito to learn about the culture and volunteer. They're part of the FLYTE program and we're super excited to have them!

One Month Left: A Call for Help

Make a world of difference in a young person's life by giving them the gift of travel! And exciting news: FLYTE is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit! This means that all of your donations are tax-deductible! All of your donations go to supporting schools going on actual trips -- like this next group of students from Southeast DC!

Giving Back: How You Can Change the World

Make a world of difference in a young person's life by giving them the gift of travel! And exciting news: FLYTE is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit! This means that all of your donations are tax-deductible! All of your donations go to supporting schools going on actual trips -- like this next group of students from Southeast DC!

Taking FLYTE: How You Helped These High School Students Go to Mexico

Last year, I launched FLYTE, a non-profit with the mission of getting young people to travel overseas. And now, our dream is a reality: we are partnering with BEST Academy High School and Atlanta Public Schools to send the first FLYTE crew of students to study in Mexico this month thanks to over $15,000 in donations from you!

From Pencils to Planes: An Update on FLYTE

This is an update on our first program and how we're raising funds for FLYTE and the schools we are partnering! There's a lot of exciting things going on with our new organization.

Travel is a Privilege

Let’s face it: not everyone is able to travel. Whether it’s money, family obligations, or circumstance, travel is out of reach for a large percentage of the world’s population. In the “quit your job to travel the world” cheerleading that happens so often on travel websites (including this one), we often forget that it’s not […]

Take FLYTE: How You Can Help Students Get a Better Education and Travel More

Travel is a powerful agent for change. It broadens our horizons and helps us find our purpose. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to travel — especially young students. Not everyone has parents to take them on round-the-world adventures or send them to study abroad. Most schools don’t have the resources to maintain their art and gym classes, let alone send students on trips outside their community. But we're going to do something about it!

About FLYTE

FLYTE is certified federal 501(c)(3) operating organization, established in December 2015 by Matthew Kepnes, founder of the website Nomadic Matt and author of the best-selling book How to Travel the World on $50 a Day. Matt started FLYTE as a way to help students understand the world beyond their borders and experience the transformative power of travel.

For more information, visit our page at http://www.takeflyte.org