Context Travel Fellowship for Inner-City Youths

by Bert Maxwell /
Bert Maxwell's picture
Jul 30, 2008 / 1 comments

Context Travel Fellowship Offers Unparalleled Learning Opportunities
for Inner-City Youths

Innovative travel company partners with St. HOPE to offer six-day
travel fellowships to high-achieving inner-city youth

Context, the network of scholars who design and lead critically-
acclaimed walking tours of major world cities, has partnered with St. HOPE to offer a one-of-a-kind travel fellowship aimed at youth achievers from economically-disadvantaged communities.

The Context Travel Fellowship includes roundtrip airfare, accommodations and at least six days of on-site classes, seminars, and workshops with the scholars in the Context network.

The Fellowship aims to expose intellectually curious students to the history, art, and culture of Europe, and use the power of travel to broaden the horizons of promising youth who may not, for economic reasons, have the opportunity to travel abroad.

“Although there’s much talk about the ill effects of travel on the environment, indigenous people, and fragile economies, travel is still one of the most transformative experiences anyone can have—especially a young, intellectually curious, and creative person who is open to its possibilities,” says Context founder Paul Bennett. “This fellowship is an incredible
opportunity to broaden the reach of travel and make a difference in a young person’s perception and understanding of the world at large. It’s a new way of thinking about sustainable travel—travel that sustains society.”

Each year, St HOPE will select one or more students from its high schools or from its Hood Corps program, a leadership-training program for college students involved with St. HOPE. The candidate will have the possibility to travel to one or more of the culturally rich cities where Context operates, accompanied by a chaperone, and there experience an intensive, multi-day program of seminars, classes, workshops and other programs.
Candidates will be chosen based on their deep interest in art, history, cultural, language, international relations, or any other discipline for which an experience abroad is invaluable.

“I know that we will be opening a whole new world to some talented students
moving forward” says Kim Curry, director of St. HOPE’s nonprofit 40 Acres Art Gallery.

Drawing on its network of university professors, graduate students, and professionals in a wide variety of disciplines, Context will organize a multi-day trip, in consultation with St. HOPE staff, for the student and chaperon that will focus on topic areas relative to the city and the student. For example, in Rome, the student might take seminars on ancient Roman society, Renaissance art, Roman cuisine, and Italian language. Context’s docents, again in collaboration with St. HOPE, will develop a lesson plan for the student that will dovetail with the seminars.

The entire program will be funded by the Context Foundation for Sustainable Travel, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to mitigating the negative effects of tourism on destinations and enhancing the positive effects of travel on society at large.

Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and interactive designer Lani Bevacqua, Context is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals—including art historians, writers, architects, and gastronomes—who organize and lead didactic walking seminars across seven cities: Rome, Naples, Florence, Paris, Venice and (now) London and New York. In May 2007, Travel + Leisure named Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. To learn more about Context visit its website at:

St. HOPE was founded in 1989 by NBA all-star and Oak Park native Kevin Johnson as a means to bringing revitalization to the inner-city Sacramento community of Oak Park through public education, civic leadership, economic development and arts enrichment. The award-winning 40 Acres Art Gallery is dedicated to celebrating the rich multi-cultural heritage existing in Oak Park, and seeks to educate and promote, exhibit and collect museum- level art that is a reflection of this diversity. To learn more about St. HOPE and 40 Acres, visit its website at:

Note: We've interviewed Context Travel here on - please Click Here to read more about this extraordinary organization!

Comments (1)

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    15 years 4 months ago

    We know that Context Travel is unusual - this adds to their pile. We MUST support businesses like this - this is an incredible program for inner city youth!


    Jessie Voigts


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