-A.Z., U.S. OTW participant, Costa Rican OTW alumni trip leader

Single Parent households:

80% were single parented.

Juvenile or Adult Probation:
75% were either in the Marin County juvenile or adult systems.

-D.D., Costa Rican OTW participant

- A.M., Costa Rican OTW participant

OTW Participant Statistics

-B.N., U.S. OTW participant, Costa Rican OTW alumni trip leader

Opening the World (OTW) is a Marin County, California-based program designed to empower and expose youth at risk to a world beyond their own through volunteer, educational and cultural experiences within their communities and abroad.

OTW serves 18 to 25-year-old underprivileged, transitional age youth from culturally diverse backgrounds who have struggled with one or more of the following issues: trauma, neglect, physical abuse, familial conflict/rupture, loss, substance abuse, homelessness, the foster care system, educational challenges and poverty. Some have been in the juvenile and adult probation system.

After a year in this program, OTW participants often return as alumni and continue in the program paying their travel expenses in full. They return because they have found a sense of community. They return because they are now socially conscious individuals who want to give back after receiving so much.

Child & Family Services (CFS):
53% used CFS services at some point in their childhood.

Alternative Education:
70% attended alternative education programs and are GED or alternative high graduates.

 "Compassion, gratitude, motivation, hope, resilience, love, the sky is the limit. OTW has inspired all of that in me. It has taught me the life skills to strive from nothing. It has supported me in every way. It has given me a longed for family from different backgrounds, but all with the same goal: to change the world for the better. That's what OTW is all about."​​​

​​“By encouraging me to share my story with others ​who have overcome adversity, OTW has helped me turn my past into a source of empowerment, instead of a source of shame.”
“Opening The World has helped me in creating a great friendship with life; both giving and receiving.”
“Opening the World has opened my eyes to traveling and being more humble and grateful in life with those around me and distant from me. We complain about little things when there are people/children in other countries who don't even have shoes on their feet.” 

​​​"What I get from OTW is not money or material things, but a feeling of satisfaction when I contribute my time to help  people here in the USA and abroad."

-​D.V., U.S. OTW participant