Announcing the Winner of the Greenheart Holiday Volunteer Photo Contest!

Thank you to all who participated in the Greenheart Holiday Volunteer Photo Contest! We received wonderful photos of diverse volunteer activities, such as working with children and the elderly, animal shelters, and soup kitchens. Thank you for sharing your photos and inspiring others to volunteer!

1st Place: João from Brazil received the most votes for his photo and he is the winner of the GoPro!

What were you doing in the photo?

João shared with 6th, 7th and 8th graders what it is like to live in Brazil. The students asked how school is different in Brazil, what the typical foods are, and how living in Brazil is different from life here. VIEW JOAO’S PHOTO.

How were your holidays?

My holidays here were awesome. I really liked the Thanksgiving that we don’t celebrate in Brazil, but here I could enjoy this holiday. Christmas we have in Brazil, and it is pretty much the same. I really liked the Christmas here to experience new cultures of a typical family Christmas here in the U.S.A (Unfortunately, there was no snow during the Christmas.) I shared some of the candy that I usually eat during Christmas and always told my host family and friends about the typical Christmas in Brazil. We pretty much celebrate Christmas like here, but the main differences are food and stockings.

What other volunteering have you done?

I went to my host mother’s school and shared some things about Brazil with some middle school students. I think it was a very nice experience. I also went with a couple people from my school to a church, and we helped with cleaning and putting chairs. I also went to my host mother school again for a Movie Night for the students so I could help with popcorn and picking up trash.

Advice for Greenheart Students

I would like to say to Greenheart students to always be involved and never be afraid to try something different in your community.


2nd Place: Alona from Ukraine. She was a CCI Greenheart student during the 2013-2014 school year. VIEW ALONA’S PHOTO.


3rd Place: Julie from Brazil. VIEW JULIA’S PHOTO.

What were you doing in this photo?

I participated in the Scouts in Brazil for more than 8 years! One of the facts that my host family chose me to be in their family was because of the fact that I was in the Scouts! My amazing host mom is a Girl Scout leader, so that’s how I joined. We take care of 15 girls that range from first to third grade. We have a meeting every other week and we try to make the most of it! We play games, try to teach them how to be better at school and at home, we do fun trips, we made cards for the elderly. They love to ask what the difference is between the Scouts here and the Scouts in Brazil! I love to answer these questions.

How were your holidays?

My holidays were amazing! Here, you guys celebrate with more intensity than we do, but we celebrate the same holiday. I made a Brazilian dessert to share with my school and at home.  Here at my house we were super excited for Christmas; we did all the traditions possible!

What other volunteering have you done?

I also volunteer almost every day at the school library. During my seminar time, when I don’t have homework to do, I go there and help the librarian with organization and putting books back in the shelf. It’s really fun too. I met a lot of people doing this!

Advice for Greenheart Students

I want to tell every exchange student that if they can do volunteer work, please do! It has been so worthy to do all of them, I met so many people, learned so many things, I will be able to put these hours in my résumé if I want to, and people look up to you when you do it! So if you have the opportunity, take it!

Thank you again for spreading the spirit of volunteering! We hope you continue to do great things in your communities as ambassadors of your home countries.

Learn how to get involved with CCI Greenheart.