What is the Rustic Pathways Foundation?
The Rustic Pathways Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization committed to strengthening communities and increasing educational and enrichment opportunities available to underprivileged youth in the United States and abroad.
Why the RPF exists:
We are global citizens with decades of experience as volunteers, guides, and educators who believe in the positive impact of connections across cultures. Twenty-five years ago, David Venning, the founder of Rustic Pathways, created a company devoted to providing high school students with quality adventure travel and community service programs around the world. Through these summer experiences, students from developed nations live, work, and play in environments markedly different than their own. In turn, these young people become more mature and more tolerant individuals with a cultural understanding that prepares them to participate as engaged citizens in today’s global society.
These travel experiences result in multifaceted benefits: Rustic Pathways touches the lives of children, youth and adults in communities all over the world by providing these underserved populations with young, vibrant volunteers that work alongside community members on small-scale development projects. The unique cultural exchange that occurs through these interactions often results in life long friendships and perhaps more importantly, breaks down stereotypes by fostering frank, open minded dialogue.
The Rustic Pathways Foundation emerged as an effort to enhance, amplify, and sustain the positive impact of Rustic Pathways student travel programs. Our work facilitating cross cultural exchange, supporting community development, and increasing enrichment opportunities, strengthens and connects communities around the world. To those ends, we rely on the passion of former students, the expertise of summer travel promoters, the knowledge of international educators, and the generosity of private donors to support the Rustic Pathways Foundation. Together, we create opportunities as exciting and diverse as the communities they benefit.