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Show Me Costa Rica Project, started by UMSL education alumna, broadens students’ horizons

A visit to Clayton High School in the spring of 2012 proved to be a life-altering experience for Samantha Lurie.

Lurie, a 2010 MEd graduate from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, moved to the area to take a Teach for Americapost at Vashon High School, on the north side of St. Louis, in 2008. As she and her Vashon students walked through the halls at Clayton – located less than 10 miles west of their school, in St. Louis County – they got a pretty clear view as to the differences a zip code can make when it comes to academic resources.

In particular, a flyer advertising an educational international trip available to Clayton students through the school caught the eyes of the Vashon contingent.

“There was this realization among the students that, ‘I’m in this other high school and seeing all these opportunities that I could only ever dream of,” Lurie said. “That was just something they couldn’t even fathom as an opportunity for someone their age. They really wanted to take a trip and have that type of educational traveling experience. They kept asking me about it and were very adamant.

“I had no idea how we would make that happen, but the students encouraged me to take it on.”

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