LAKE PLACID - For the cost of one plane ticket, teacher Kelly Carter will take the trip of a lifetime - and bring back with her knowledge to pass on to her students.
As an environmental science teacher at the National Sports Academy, Carter felt it was important to practice what she preached to her students.
"I feel as though I don't want to just stand up here and teach," Carter explained. "By learning about the world and being able to sort of see first-hand the connection with poverty and environmental degradation, I will be able to better teach my students."
To achieve this, Carter applied for a study tour heading to honduras this June for a 10-day trip through Honduras' villages supported by Heifer International. Carter was one of 30 chosen applicants, out of the 150 who applied.
"I was surprised. A little bit," she said. "I'm the type of person that just goes for it and I don't really think a whole lot about it until it happens. I was one of those kids that didn't really get excited about things until it was the day. The very moment."
Heifer International is an organization working to help struggling families become more self-reliant in terms of food and income
Although Carter's unsure of the exact itinerary for the trip, she knows one of the goals of Heifer International is to expose more people to what they're doing through education.
"In the application they asked us how we, teachers, are going to take this experience and bring it to our students through our curriculum and programs here," Carter explained.
Carter added because NSA is a private school, she has the opportunity to "wear many hats." She not only teaches environmental science, but earth science and math as well. She is also the advisor for the environmental science club and student government.
"Because I have my hands in so many domains of the school, there's a merit of ways in which I can reach the students."
Carter also knows the trip will allow her to witness the villages sustainable development first-hand."
Sustainability is something Carter is also striving for in the school.
"A couple years ago I formed an environmental club which I call the Sustainability and Stewardship Council," she explained. "That's a group of interested students that are interested in making some changes as it relates to our impact on the environment."
The first goal the club had was to determine the school's carbon footprint, or the amount of greenhouse gases they cause. Because NSA is largely involved in sports, it was no surprise to Carter their carbon footprint was rather large.
"We have two hockey teams that travel all over the North East," she explained."We have these big huge busses. We have these ski jumpers that travel to norway. So it's pretty large. But we're a small school, so in comparison, when you add it all up, it's not as significant as you think it would be.
To offset their carbon emissions, the club began working to make their school as green as possible.
"I'm really about action," Carter said. "I want to get my kids involved in making the school a more greener place. I don't want to just stand up here and teach; I want them to be a part of the social change and be part of the solution."
So far, over the past two years, the 10-12 students involved in the club have raised vegetables in a community garden, begun a no-plastic bottle campaign and created a composting program.
Currently the group is working on doing an energy audit and buying carbon credit.
"For Earth Day this year, we're offsetting our carbon emissions," Carter said. "We're buying carbon credit from the adirondack council, so we can offset our carbon emissions.
Carter's plan is to buy a couple carbon credits, which cost around $25 a piece, and offset three tons of carbon.