Cultural Immersion trip to New Zealand - Blake Marcus

Blake spent his summer leading a cultural immersion trip to Aotearoa for inner city high school students. The hosting company, Student Diplomacy Corps (SDC) was founded on the idea that all students should have the ability to travel internationally, not just those with the ability to pay. All of the students who participate in the SDC programs receive scholarship funding.


The participants were ten deserving high school juniors and seniors from all across America. They were chosen for their desire to see the world, passion for social justice and interest in their own development as global citizens.


The program mission is to develop college readiness, multicultural awareness and understanding of global issues. Blake led this newly created program that focused on the challenges faced by the Maori people in New Zealand. During the course of trip the group stayed in Maori villages, learned to sail traditional canoes and delved into the continued struggles and racism faced by the native people.


The experience helped the students understand complex topics like culture shock, indigenous revival movements and cultural appropriation. The program was an overwhelming success in which the students formed lasting friendships and helped to break stereotypes while learning about a culture on the other side of the world.