Ellie Burns Foundation Recipient Frances Hickey Tells Her Story


Ashley Colquhoun

The 2018 Ellie Burns Foundation recipient Frances Hickey was gracious enough to share her summer experience with us.

“This past summer, because of the Ellie Burns Foundation, I was able to go on a two week service trip to Cambodia with Rustic Pathways,” said Hickey.

The http://www.ellieburnsfoundation.com/ grants students with scholarships to further their love for the outdoors.

“Eight other students and I from all across the US got to spend a couple days touring cities in Cambodia, learning about the culture and trying the food. It was a great time for us to all bond with each other and our leaders before we headed to a small village to begin our service,” Hickey said.

The great aspect of this trip for Hickey was that it would be her first time going out of the country and getting to experience new and different cultures.“Having never really been out of the country, it was super nerve racking but equally just as exciting.”

The opportunity Ellie Burns Foundation gave Frances Hickey was one she will never forget and still raves about how “it was the most beautiful place I’d ever seen.”

Hickey began to describe her actions during her trip and the wonderful impact she had on the people she was helping.

“In Kampong Cham, we stayed at a little house surrounded by trees and spent the days going to local schools where we helped teach kids English through different fun activities. In the process, we also got to learn their language, Khmer.” She also mentioned, “The rest of our days were spent improving the school facilities by building fences or touring other beautiful scenes in Cambodia.”

Although she was in a different culture, she was able to overcome the difficulties of not speaking the same language.

“There was no doubt a language barrier, but with time, we were able to work around it. Even not speaking the same language, we enjoyed dancing and playing games together,” said Hickey.

She concluded by telling me how much the trip meant to her and how grateful she was for the experience Ellie Burns gave her.

“All the students were so loving and welcoming of us. It really made the experience so special. I grew so close to the students and leaders on my trip, and learned so much about the country. It was better than I ever could have imagined,” Hickey said.