I recently had the privilege of visiting the Young Living Farm in Chongon, Ecuador where we grow several plants used in our essential oils – Ylang Ylang, Ecualyptus Blue, Dorado Azul, Oregano, and more. It was amazing to see the Seed to Seal process in action once again. This is the fourth Young Living Farm I have personally visited. However, what struck me more on this trip was a visit to the Young Living Academy.
Young Living Academy was started because D. Gary Young saw the poor conditions of the local neighborhood school. He purchased land close to that small school without bathrooms and built a new school that now has 290 students, expanding to 350 next year.
The Young Living Academy has been expanded to include a preschool and a high school for the children of Chongon, Ecuador. Students cultivate their own organic garden that contributes to their healthy, organic lunches; participate in soccer, baseball, volleyball, dance, music, chess, and drama clubs; and participate in student council.
Only 25% of high school seniors graduate from public school in Chongon – but not at the Young Living Academy (100% of enrolled seniors will graduate)! It was incredible to see. The new high school is is pictured above. The lives of underprivileged children in the Chongon neighborhood are being changed – FOREVER.
Just over a year ago our family took sponsorship of a child who attends school at the Young Living Academy – Benjamin. I chose him because he was the same age as my youngest (five). Well, we had the chance to meet him and it was powerful and emotional and something I will never forget.
He was in shock over the American football, school supplies, toys, and humongous backpack we brought him – he hugged my husband for nearly 1 minute and would not let go! I was taking video of it all – my husband did a great job trying to communicate with him even with the language barrier.
Another Young Living member brought along some tattoos and all the kids were waiting for them, so I joined in the assembly line and helped place tattoos on those little ones. They were thrilled.
This was a highlight for me – pure joy to do something so simple but meant the world to these kids.
They treated us to a music program, food, games, and tours – something they had been looking forward to for a year.
I can say for me, it is a critical part of who I am to be part of something that gives back to the community. For the last 20 years and counting, Young Living has a vision to improve our global community and philanthropic work has always been close to the hearts of founders D. Gary and Mary Young. I am the one blessed to be part of an organization helping with improving the health and wellness of families but also making a difference worldwide in much bigger ways.
My heart was so full – blessing these children, seeing their smiles and joy was priceless. So when you purchase oils and become a member with Young Living, please know you are part of a huge family giving back to make the world a better place.
Here is a video about one child that has been impacted by the Young Living Academy.
“Salomón Francisco Olivarque is among the many young people who attend Young Living’s education program in Chongón, Ecuador. In comparison to his previous school, which Salomón says did not provide meaningful educational experiences, Young Living Academy has become like a second home to the 14-year-old boy. In this video, see how the efforts of the Young Living Foundation and generous sponsors change the lives of children in this underserved area.”