Ryan Kirby

Associate Director, Trip Operations, ME to WE

My four-plus years of experience at WE provided me a sense of purpose and a deep feeling of meaningful work. I was proud of the work I accomplished, but also what the organization was striving for. It meant something to be a part of that and was more than just a job.

In my role within the ME to WE Trips team, I was afforded many opportunities to speak on the impact and value of our ME to WE Trips to those outside the organization—students, youth, teachers, parents, partners. While I always loved to educate those on the work WE was doing and how they can be a part of it, selfishly it allowed me to show my pride in the work that was being done. It would always ground me to know that there are bigger issues out there which need to be addressed, and it felt good to be part of a process to help solve some of those issues.

On multiple occasions, I had the chance to lead a group of students and/or teachers on a trip to Ecuador. While I can certainly speak to the impact this has on the Ecuadorian communities, I think the most memorable impact would have to be the one I had on the students and teachers who traveled with me. By leading and educating them on the issues at hand and the work WE was doing abroad, I was able to see the change they were experiencing and knowing the impact they would bring back home to those around them.

Over my time with WE, I was fortunate to have been able to visit a few of the countries in which WE Charity has implemented their WE Villages model. Seeing firsthand the impact that WE is making abroad and how it is giving opportunity to those who never had anything before will be something I can never forget. Lives are truly being changed for the better and that is something that simply cannot be ignored.

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