Road Trip! Amazing Opportunity for Students to Travel and Make a Difference

Conversations From the Open Road is a Road-Trip to experience our world in a meaningful way.  We are a citizen-journalism, media crew probing the challenging issues and individual stories  in our communities.

The content below is pasted directly from the Conversations from the Open Road website

Upcoming Trips

HOME – 1 Spot Left

Friday, April 15, 2016 to Sunday, April 24, 2016

We are heading to Alabama to begin to unravel the layers of this fascinating and iconic place in the history of our country. We will be exploring and learning from the people of Alabama about their deeply rooted love for place; we will meet with artists and activists and citizens and probe how each relates with home.  This investigation is largely framed by the work of the Rural Studio, an enduring and inspiring program started by Samuel Mockbee as part of Auburn University to design and build beautiful homes and community buildings for under-served and impoverished residents of Alabama’s Hale County.


COST: $1200

Scholarships available, based on need

Rural Studio, Alabama Possible, Southern Poverty Law Center, Kentuck Art Center,

Youth Making CHANGE – 1 Spot Left

Monday, May 23, 2016 to Friday, June 3, 2016

Come with us! Travel around the Northeastern U.S. (New England and New York) and learn how young people are making change in our world. We are on the road in order to counter that nagging stereotype of apathetic and disengaged youth! We will learn from many individuals who are envisioning a better world and taking action to see it a reality.



Cost: $1250

Scholarships available, based on need

Oklahoma – In Whose Backyard?

Friday, June 24, 2016 to Friday, July 8, 2016

We are heading to Oklahoma!

This beautiful prairie landscape is home to one of the hottest David and Goliath battles in our country about how we are choosing to fuel our lifestyle. In 2015, Oklahoma experienced 907 earthquakes (historically there has been less than 5 per year) – and many are considering this as part of the dramatic increase in hydraulic fracturing/fracking.  People all over the globe are taking action against this extreme energy extraction; in Vermont, we have a moratorium on this practice – though our geology does not have natural gas anyhow. We all are definitely benefiting from this surge in natural gas.

SO, we ask: If NIMBY (Not In My BackYard), then it’s time to travel to and learn from those people who do have extreme extraction in their backyards.


BUT, as always, we are heading out on the road to uncover and absorb a sense of place!

Oklahoma has so much for us to explore – it sits at the confluence of 3 different cultural and geographic regions in our country. The layers of history of the people and land (it became a state in 1908, assimilating/displacing 5 native american tribes — the migration from this Dust Bowl — to the settlement of the ranchlands, praries and oil fields ), the iconic music of Woody Guthrie and JJ Cale setting a tone for today’s budding art and music scenes, the overlapping regional accents, bbq styles and flavors,  and the cultural climate all are as different from Vermont as we can hope for within our own country!

Join us and learn from the people who passionately call OKLAHOMA home!


COST: $1800

Scholarships available, based on need

Santa Fe, New Mexico – Addiction Is For Health Care Not Criminal Justice

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 to Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Partnership with Burlington College

There are a few cities in our country transforming how we understand and treat people with addictions. Santa Fe is one of these inspiring places (along with Seattle, Albany, Ithaca, and Gloucester, Mass). Burlington College students will travel to this  to learn from community and people initiating this change. We will thread together the stories of this with the landscape, flavors and people of this artfully carved landsacpe ‘Land of Enchantment’.


We have a chance to continue this cultural change here in Vermont!

Stay tuned – We will be hosting community conversations and forums sharing the successes and challenges of this model.



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