The idea behind Volunteer Forever started after Founder and CEO Steve Weddle’s volunteer trip to India in 2011. The experience was life-changing, and he returned home forever moved by his time volunteering abroad.
However, the process of getting to this great experience was challenging. He realized there was significant information and financial barriers that kept many travelers from participating in these programs and helping others around the world.
Volunteer Forever was built as a way to break down those barriers: it’s a comprehensive online resource that helps people all over the world find and fund their best volunteer, intern and teach abroad experiences. Our goal is to provide expert information and expert resources that will empower you to travel and do good!
With Volunteer Forever, our expert travelers, researchers, and writers have done the legwork of finding the top volunteer, intern, and teach abroad programs. You can also read reviews of other travelers’ experiences to help you select a placement.
If you need to raise funds for your trip, you can apply for one of our scholarships! Volunteering abroad can be expensive, but it’s also a noble endeavor that your friends, loved ones, and communities will be happy to support.
Volunteer Forever aims to be the most trusted resource in the world for volunteering, interning, and teaching abroad. We believe in integrity, transparency, and honesty above all else. We’ve aligned our interests with yours in order to stay objective and provide you with the most accurate information possible.
We hope you enjoy using Volunteer Forever as your premier resource for meaningful travel. If you ever have any questions, please email us at [email protected]. Best of luck on your journey!
Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer
The hardest question anyone can ask me is “where are you from?” As an “Army Brat” and Air Force officer, I was born overseas, lived on three continents, and have spent half my life abroad. Service and international travel have been the two main constants in my life. Those two constants converged for the first time when I volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan in 2009. There, in a war-torn and impoverished country, I learned for the first time that our capacity to help was magnified by the direness of a country’s situation. Service and internationalism converged again two years later. This time I found myself caring for orphans at an HIV/AIDS care home in India. I was forever moved by the experience and vowed to make it easy for anyone in the world to volunteer overseas. As a former product manager at Google, I’m excited to use my understanding of technology to make it easier for people to volunteer, intern, and teach abroad. To reach me directly, please e-mail me at [email protected]
Contact Steve Weddle[email protected]
Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer
Though a Southern California native, my upbringing and life experiences have always had quite an international and multicultural flavor to them. I spent most summers as a child in Korea living with relatives with the purpose of maintaining affinity with my family, to learn the language, and most importantly to understand the Korean culture. As a student at the US Air Force Academy I had the pleasure of representing the United States at the College Militaire Royal du Canada for a semester as well as the Ecole de l’air of France where I began to understand the cooperative nature of our international community. Through my life experiences, I’ve come to appreciate the growing symbiotic nature of today’s peoples and cultures. I’m excited to help build that multinational bridge through those with the hearts and desires to volunteer abroad. To reach me directly, please e-mail me at [email protected]
Contact Brian An[email protected]
Director of Partnerships
Originally from Florida, I always dreamed of exploring the world but only had the opportunity after heading to college. Freshman year, I landed an amazing internship with Peace Corps HQ and was encouraged to volunteer abroad during my summer break: I traveled to Costa Rica on a sea turtle research project and was absolutely hooked. Since then, I’ve dedicated my career to researching and taking part in meaningful programs worldwide. By visiting and vetting our partners and the wonderful programs they offer all over the world, my goal is to share with you the amazing volunteer, intern, and teach abroad experiences that you can be a part of – whether you’re looking for a gap year trip, a volunteer vacation, a career-boosting internship overseas, or even a paid teaching opportunity in another country. If you would like to learn how your organization can be part of Volunteer Forever, please email me at [email protected]
Contact Sarah Vandenberg[email protected]
Rhode Island might be the smallest state in the union, but there is plenty to keep me busy. When I am not writing, I am off seeking adventure – skydiving, rock climbing, and canoeing are just a few of the exciting escapades I have had in the past few months. Of course, as much as I love my home state, I am always on the lookout for opportunities to explore the world and contribute to the communities I visit. I have been able to fulfill these passions while seeing Iceland’s Northern Lights and taking a photo safari in South Africa. As a Volunteer Forever travel researcher, I have a chance to discover new projects to put on my bucket list. Better still, I get to share them with all of you. Really, does it get any better than that?
Contact Rachel Roderick[email protected]
I’m a professional writer, researcher, and educator, specializing in heritage projects. I’ve been a writer for nearly 40 years, working as a journalist and editor for daily and weekly newspapers in Florida and Pennsylvania. I’m also the author and co-author of regional history books, and several novels. I have advanced degrees in Anthropology and professional training as an archaeologist. I combine my background in communications with my training in anthropology as a public archaeologist and heritage specialist. I also teach at a private, liberal arts college, and enjoy mentoring students as they discover their passions and purpose. I enjoy writing about volunteer travel and internships and sharing the many opportunities I discover with my college students. I encourage everyone to travel abroad for the life-changing experience and the heightened cultural awareness that it brings.
Contact Robin Van Auken[email protected]
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, I’ve long had a passion for reading, writing, and discovering the new and unknown. As a child, I would ride my bike around the city, looking for excitement (and a little mischief). During university, my thirst for adventure led me to study abroad in Chengdu, China. That experience called me to explore the world more deeply, and to leave a positive footprint wherever I roamed. After graduating from Boston College in 2011, I decided to return to Chengdu. For three years there, I taught English at a local school, studied Mandarin Chinese, traveled around, and enjoyed life (and a ton of Sichuan hotpot). Today, I split my time between Cincinnati, Chengdu, and the open road. As a Volunteer Travel Researcher, I write about the benefits of volunteering, working, and living abroad. I aim to help others learn how to have wonderful experiences abroad and make a lasting impact on the communities they visit.