ALI GRASS CLASS OF 2018
The Patched Overalls Experience From the Mother of Ali Grass: Stephanie
Patched Overalls is simply amazing. If we ever had any questions, they were answered right away. I’m not going to lie, the process is scary at times, but is also such a great thing and offered an outstanding experience for our daughter. I cannot say there was anything we didn’t like about the program. I can’t even explain into words how much Ali has learned. She has become a more responsible, respectful, and independent person since the trip.
I also feel like this trip helped Ali learn so much about living on her own, guiding her way thru an airport (since this was her FIRST time flying), how different cultures work, and why we shouldn’t take our everyday luxuries for granted. Although Ali did a good job packing in such an organized way, she still was a little under prepared. She needed some more warm clothes and wishes she would’ve taken more snacks. That’s one of my tips of advice, MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD IS PREPARED. There’s nothing worse than being very far away and not being able to get them things they need. The snacks would’ve been helpful to Ali because she soon learned that Peruvian food wasn’t exactly her favorite, but she managed to find local shops where she could buy Oreo (which soon became her favorite LOL).
With such a big change in altitude in Peru, Ali’s body had to make a lot of adjustments. The hardest part of this whole experience came when Ali first got settled into room. With all of the changes going on, Ali soon became homesick and very emotional. Being thousands of miles away, it was so tough to hear her scared voice and know that there was really nothing you could do. Tyson helped both me and Ali out during this time. He sent her some encouraging words of advice, which I know helped her a lot. After a couple days, Ali really began to overcome the homesickness and enjoy her time in Peru.
Once she was having a great time, it was so reassuring to hear her talk about all of the exciting things she got to do. As a parent, it made me so proud hearing her talk about all of the things she was learning in the medical field and how much fun she was having with the orphanage children. I also think the culture changes were such a cool experience for Ali and I know she enjoyed every minute of it. The advice I would give to future Patched Overalls Scholarship parents is to make sure your child is as prepared as possible (snack, weather, documents, etc), and really check into an international phone plan. I would most definitely do this entire experience over again if it was possible. This was one the best life experiences for Ali and I can really tell how it made her become a better person. Thank you Patched Overalls for everything you have done for us, we truly appreciate it.