A Letter From Danita


“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”  Tom Brokaw

Dear Travelers;

I’m sure after reading through this website you’re wondering why Different Drummer Travel is not a non-profit organization. Well the truth of the matter is that the goal of Different Drummer Travel is to start a non-profit. My reasoning in starting this travel agency was not only to provide quality international volunteer programs for less and increase minority enrollment, but also to raise the funds needed to start my own initiative with low-income teens.

Particularly in the United States, there is a school of thought that the U.S. reigns supreme, that there is no need to speak any language other than English, and that international news and affairs are not important. This destructive thinking is the epitome of ignorance. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”. In order to change this way of thinking (or lack thereof), we must begin by being positive role models for, and introducing intercultural understanding to, younger generations. This brings me to the reason that Different Drummer Travel is a for-profit organization.

My non-profit organization will be geared towards low-income youths beginning at the end of their 8th grade year and ending when they graduate. Students will only be recruited at the end of middle school because the most important aspect is that they participate all four years of high school.

The premise for our initiative is a combination of international travel and language study. The first year there will be an opening for ten low-income students. At first, we will only admit 4 to 6 new students each school year, until funding increases. Beginning in June, the summer before the student’s freshman year, they will begin daily instruction in the language of their choice, as well as participate in numerous cultural summer activities, like the visiting museums and art galleries. We will cover all of the student’s transportation, meals, and activity costs.

After the school year commences, then students will meet weekly for language instruction interspersed with monthly cultural nights. Aptitude tests, both written and verbal, given throughout the year will measure the student’s grasp of the material taught. While there will be no minimum grade point average required for acceptance into the program, a standard of personal excellence and achievement will be set for each student to achieve. If they are struggling in subjects other than languages, the appropriate assistance will be provided. At the start of the school year, students will be informed of their Senior Trip. The Senior Trip will be an opportunity for them to put what they’ve learned into practice. The Senior Trip will take place the summer before their senior year of high school. In order to go on the Senior Trip students must:

  1. Meet the academic goals set forth by us at the end of their sophomore year.
  2. Actively participate in the raising of funds to pay for at least 50% of said trip.
  3. Have an attendance rate of 80% or more for all of A Different Drum Foundation’s meeting dates from the beginning of their freshman year.

This is only a tentative plan for an organization that is still several years and many thousands of dollars away. Hopefully, a pilot group will come to fruition within the next five years, and with your continued support and business, it may.

Now about those quotes… I’m sure that you’ve noticed the inspirational quotes scattered throughout the site. The goal of these quotes is to get you to see international travel in a different light. Yes, I think that everyone should go abroad and lightheartedly explore his or her host country, but you should also travel with a sense of responsibility towards the place that you are visiting. Just something to keep in mind.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little better. I appreciate your business, and look forward to your continued patronage.

Very Truly Yours,

Danita M. Walton


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