Thursday, July 8, 2010


I remember applying this past fall and not even imagining that I would be traveling across the world to the Philippines. I will never forget this experience.

I would like to thank a few people:

Operation Smile- Thank you for giving me and other high school students this unique opportunity to travel on the medical missions. Operation Smile has had an incredible impact on me, my family, and on my school. I am so grateful to have had this experience and to be able to go back home and tell people about this wonderful organization and my experience with it.

Adrienne- Thank you for being an AWESOME student sponsor! You always helped us playing with the children, getting the adults involved, and helped Melanie and I during the presentations.

Melanie- Thank you for being a fantastic partner! You were so much fun to be around and a really hard worker.

The Team- It was incredible how we all came together to change the lives of 140 children and adults in less than a week. It was amazing to meet all of you and thank you for all that you did on the mission.

It has been just a month since I returned from the Philippines. I can't believe it. I am so fortunate to have had this experience. I loved the people, the children, the culture, and the beautiful, green fields.

Less than a year ago, I was preparing for my first International Student Leadership Conference. I never thought I would have gone a mission less than a year after that.

Salamat Po,
Mary Claire :)


  1. Agreed! It's crazy how things work, isn't it? I attended my first ISLC 2 years ago not knowing much about op smile and now it is my passion!! This year will be my 3peat of islc. SO excited!

  2. Mary Claire - Thank you for being one of the best students I have ever had on a mission. You have such a big heart and it shows through - in the way you interact with the children to the excitement you have every morning with your bags packed and ready for the adventures of the day!

    I am glad we are able to experience the Philippines together!

  3. I am do glad had such a wonderful experience working abroad. A few years ago I got the opportunity to work with Smile Train and I know what a amazing experience it is. Hopefully you continue your journey of working with such a worthy charity