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Scott Patterson's Story

Scott Patterson in Vietnam in 2023

Go! Learn! Grow! The perfect description for this amazing life experience.

Go! The decision to Go, is not as easy as it sounds for many. The unknown can be a very daunting prospect: will I be safe, will I have fun, can I afford to go, will I have a job when I get back? In a word YES! Always YES! As the benefactor of a two-week experience like this in my youth, I can absolutely attest to how these few weeks will shape the rest of our lives in such a positive way. Even so many decades after my first youthful experience, this trip has changed my life all over again.

Learn! We have learned so much about ourselves, our new friends, and our world. We learned how to cross an impossibly busy street of non-stop scooters and bicycles. We even learned how to ride a bike amongst them. We tried strange new foods and found we loved them. We learned that schedules & distances were often fluid guesstimates and that that was OK too. Importantly, we have embraced a fully diverse group of strangers as newfound family and we have accepted each one with love, respect, and understanding. We have tackled some local challenges and have creatively crafted and proposed credible social entrepreneurial solutions to improve the lives of the Tra Vinh community. We found ways to utilize our existing skills while adopting the diverse skills of others to fulfil our goal of tapping into the 17 globally adopted Sustainable Development Goals in our solutions. Most importantly, we learned that we have so much in common with those who live on the other side of the globe and that we can make the world so much better if we choose to pool our talents and work together as one.

Grow! We have all grown exponentially. We’ve been blessed with a chance to truly get to know so many new life-long friends. We’ve stripped away the barriers of language, culture, & beliefs, and we have fully embraced everything which makes each one of us unique in our world. All our differences made us stronger, and together we tackled some daunting challenges with passion, humor, and ingenuity. We have grown our network of like-minded peers and our understanding of how we can work together to make the world better.

To wrap up, I just want to say that Vietnam and its’ people are absolutely beautiful in every way. We couldn’t have dreamed for a friendlier nation or group of people. A personal thank you to our hosts & the Tra Vinh students, to our NSCC students, and a personal thank you to my co-facilitator, Christine & our illustrious leader, Kellie. You have made this a experience one of my top life experiences ever!

To everyone that has made this experience possible and to all those who made this experience so wonderful: Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! And to all those who may wonder if they should apply to do this project in the future: Go! Learn Grow!