Auburn Youth Wins Scholarship to Travel to Guatemala

by | Jun 10, 2014

Auburn student Jeanelle Wheeler, 17 and a home schooled student, is an example of how strong will, discipline and hard work can attain far-reaching dreams and goals.

In April 2014, Jeanelle received a scholarship of $1300 to participate in an innovative travel abroad program to Guatemala. The first time ever recipient of this dual scholarship awarded by Worcester Think Tank and Perduco Education, Jeanelle will participate in Perduco’s Con Los Ojos Abiertos trip to Guatemala for young adults.


Jeanelle Wheeler presents at an Auburn Library event last September.

Jeanelle Wheeler presents at an Auburn Library event last September.


One of twelve teenagers selected, Jeanelle will travel throughout the country, engage in hands-on service learning projects, study Spanish with a Guatemalan based Homeschool Spanish Language Academy, and teach English to youth in Escuela Proyecto La Esperanza.

Jeanelle heard about the trip through her involvement as a frequent student at Worcester Think Tank. This is the second year Think Tank will accompany Perduco for this abroad trip but the first time it is recruiting one of its own students.

Jeanelle is looking forward to the trip. In her own words: “I am incredibly excited and grateful to culminate my Think Tank and high school experience with a trip to Guatemala.  There I will be immersed in another language and culture and finally put human faces to the social problems of developing countries.  In college and in life, I want to learn more languages, learn about the world’s injustices, and then write about them – do something about them.  This trip is an opportunity to feed my inner dreamer, explorer, writer, and activist.”

Jeanelle hopes to share her experiences through writing and/or film with her community upon return.