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Stamford native travels the world, changes lives

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STAMFORD – She calls it her starry-eyed dream: To visit every country in the world, volunteering along the way.

And the way Erica Virvo sees it, her dream may come true.

At 24 years old, Virvo, a Stamford native, has traveled to 20 foreign nations, sipping tea with monks, climbing volcanoes, riding elephants and holding tigers.

Perhaps most importantly, Virvo has devoted her life to helping others, working to improve the poorest communities on the planet.

“This is my year of community service,” she told The Stamford Times, speaking from the island of St. Vincent.

There, through Richmond Vale Academy, Virvo is training to become a service leader, focused on farming, sustainability, environment and community development.

“I love it,” she said. “Right now, it’s my path.” 

In March, when her training is complete, Virvo will spend another six months in Zambia, bringing environmentally safe practices to rural farmers.

“It will increase food security where it is needed the most,” she said.

Rather than being a far-fetched fantasy, Virvo said her course –albeit non-traditional – is affordable and attainable.

She would know, she said.

Once an interior design student at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virvo changed direction her senior year, studying abroad in Doha, Qatar, and, after graduation, waiting tables at Tigin Irish Pub to travel overseas.

In rural Thailand, Virvo taught English for three months, volunteered in a Cambodian orphanage and worked with children in Korea for more than a year.

“I want people to realize, this is completely doable,” she said. “I have been independent from my parents since I was 18. I have been paying for myself and have been able to travel the world through determination.”

A lifelong city resident, Virvo got her introduction to service work at Stamford High School, traveling to Palo Verde, Nicaragua with buildOn.

“We were working alongside the people we were helping,” she said. “We weren’t just giving them something. We were achieving something together.” 

Someday, Virvo plans to bring that mission back home.

“I love Stamford, and I love the U.S.A.” she said. “I would love to run programs here.” 

To read about Erica Virvo’s work, visit ericafromamericablog.com.

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Stamford native travels the world, changes lives

Copy and paste below into your page: (close this pane)

STAMFORD – She calls it her starry-eyed dream: To visit every country in the world, volunteering along the way.

And the way Erica Virvo sees it, her dream may come true.

At 24 years old, Virvo, a Stamford native, has traveled to 20 foreign nations, sipping tea with monks, climbing volcanoes, riding elephants and holding tigers.

Perhaps most importantly, Virvo has devoted her life to helping others, working to improve the poorest communities on the planet.

“This is my year of community service,” she told The Stamford Times, speaking from the island of St. Vincent.

There, through Richmond Vale Academy, Virvo is training to become a service leader, focused on farming, sustainability, environment and community development.

“I love it,” she said. “Right now, it’s my path.” 

In March, when her training is complete, Virvo will spend another six months in Zambia, bringing environmentally safe practices to rural farmers.

“It will increase food security where it is needed the most,” she said.

Rather than being a far-fetched fantasy, Virvo said her course –albeit non-traditional – is affordable and attainable.

She would know, she said.

Once an interior design student at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virvo changed direction her senior year, studying abroad in Doha, Qatar, and, after graduation, waiting tables at Tigin Irish Pub to travel overseas.

In rural Thailand, Virvo taught English for three months, volunteered in a Cambodian orphanage and worked with children in Korea for more than a year.

“I want people to realize, this is completely doable,” she said. “I have been independent from my parents since I was 18. I have been paying for myself and have been able to travel the world through determination.”

A lifelong city resident, Virvo got her introduction to service work at Stamford High School, traveling to Palo Verde, Nicaragua with buildOn.

“We were working alongside the people we were helping,” she said. “We weren’t just giving them something. We were achieving something together.” 

Someday, Virvo plans to bring that mission back home.

“I love Stamford, and I love the U.S.A.” she said. “I would love to run programs here.” 

To read about Erica Virvo’s work, visit ericafromamericablog.com.

Tags: ,

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