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Founder Message:

The decision to return to America after living abroad was not an easy one. The truth was simple: the more I traveled, the better my jobs became; the better the jobs, the more adventurous my travels were as well. Life was progressive, comfortable even—for me. For many of those in my hometown however, things remained the same—stagnant. Abeyant. So I packed my bags one last time, recollected over what life in twenty countries has meant to me, and awoke with a thud as the plane touched down in Memphis, Tennessee.

I loved my life as a traveler, a backpacker, and whatever else it took to keep me from facing the reality of being in my own city. A ‘wise man’ in Ghana at a shabby hotel with no AC, 100+ degree heat, had given me the most valuable words I’d ever heard. “What would you do for free?” is what he said. “When you find the answer to that question you too shall find your purpose.” I realized this journey was no longer about me.

To stand in a position to create something that’s meaningful, impactful, and transforms the lives of an entire generation of students has been the ultimate gift. For three years I fought hard against a responsibility I’ve always known was greater than myself. At One Step Initiative we are looking to take inner city high school youth overseas for intercultural, educational and service learning opportunities. My hope is to one day see this number grow to 5,000 minority lives enhanced through the power of study abroad education. 

Currently OSI is raising funds to ensure more students are met with this unique opportunity of a lifetime. We truly need your help in making it possible for all of our excited first time travelers.

Brian Booker
President & CEO
One Step Initiative, Inc.