My story is about an individual who truly represents servant leadership and community betterment. As a college student, I was fortunate to be hired as an intern for an international community development organization. I was a part of small group that traveled to the Dominican Republic and worked with local service providers to create more reliable and affordable infrastructure for schools. The local organization was created and run by a non-local (European) named Mike.
Mike was in late 40's at that time and spent his professional life building an international eco-tourist company. The company offered several different opportunities for tourists to experience the Dominican Republic and its fantastic natural landscapes through adventure tours that included rafting, climbing, caving, and rappelling. However, Mike's company was very different from typical commercial tourist adventure companies. Unlike most adventure companies that see the local population and natural environment as resources available for their disposal, Mike's company was predicated on community involvement and sustainable adventure activities.
In short, this company that I was fortunate to be involved with, not only hired local residents as tour guides and employees, but also donated company profits back to local schools and infrastructure development. This man, Mike, an entrepreneur and successful business man, who could very easily afford to live a luxurious and self-serving life, instead lived among locals and empowered local communities to become better and safer places for children. In a place (rural DR) where the average family earns between $50 and $100 US dollars per month, and many times cannot afford the required uniforms and books to send all of their children to schools, Mike provided the means necessary for families to provide the basic items necessary for education.
This story and this man truly do represent an ideal of servant leadership that empowers people and communities to become better places for families and children.
Submitted by Anonymous
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