Susan Rickert10-time traveler - San Francisco, California - Washburn Award Recipient
"My last child was off to school. So, I decided that now I belong to the world." With that
sentiment, 10-time traveler Susan Rickert of San Francisco, California, set off on her first safari to Tanzania, where she had once served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer.
The itinerary included a stop at a school similar to the one she had taught at more than 35 years earlier. There, she found a classroom with a dirt floor and no roof, windows, or doors, in which a single teacher was presenting lessons to 100 children. "That was a turning point in my life," Susan recalls. "I was so moved, I decided to collect money for the school on the spot."
And she's been collecting money ever since. With the assistance of Honorary Director Willie Chambulo—owner of Kibo Safaris, an Overseas Adventure Travel partner—Susan has supported four primary schools and led the charge to build a new secondary school in the village of Karatu. She has also found sponsors to establish dozens of scholarships for deserving students. So far, she has raised more than $100,000. "This remains my number one passion besides my children," she says. In honor of these extraordinary accomplishments, Grand Circle Foundation presented Susan with its first Washburn Award. Named in honor of Honorary Director Bradford Washburn, the award is given to an individual in recognition of a personal commitment to giving back to a community where the company travels.
To learn more about Susan's activities on behalf of the schools of Karatu, Tanzania, click here.