OTW serves underprivileged, transitional age youth (ages 16 to 25) from culturally diverse backgrounds who have struggled with trauma, neglect, physical abuse, familial conflict/rupture, loss, bullying, substance abuse, homelessness, the foster care, and probation systems, educational challenges, and poverty.
See what OTW has been up to during the COVID-19 pandemic HERE.
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, leadership, educational, therapeutic, and cultural experiences within their communities and abroad.
After a year in this program, OTW participants often continue on as alumni who take on leadership roles, mentor new participants and identify and pursue vocational opportunities. These alumni 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. LEARN MORE
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"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." -D.V.
“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.” -B.N.
“Opening The World has helped me in creating a great friendship with life; both giving and receiving.”
-A.Z., U.S. OTW participant, Costa Rican OTW alumni trip leader
“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.” - A.M.
"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.D.
AN EDUCATIONAL, LEADERSHIP & COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM
FOR YOUNG ADULTS