This past weekend, I sat on the National Mall facing the Capitol in Washington, DC as Michelle Obama extolled the new graduates of George Washington University to broaden their horizons through travel abroad, working to help those less fortunate wherever they go.  Such experiences will make our nation stronger, she told the students. Such experiences will make them better citizens of the world.

Mrs. Obama was speaking at George Washington University’s commencement because the students had risen to the challenge she’d issued last fall: Complete more than 100,000 hours of community service, she said, and she would be their commencement speaker.

The students rose to the challenge, working in and around DC, in communities across the country and around the world — and compiling more than 160,000 hours of service!

Listening to her speak–one of my nephews was graduating–made me think of all the opportunities to give back when we travel with our kids, whether volunteering a day or an entire vacation.


Read the column I wrote about this here 

Check websites like  for vacations that include a chance to work in the community you visit.  Mrs. Obama is right. You will get much  more from the experience than you give.