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Frank Ski Kids nonprofit treats metro Atlanta teens to life-changing trip to Amazon

ATLANTA — Every day on Channel 2 Action News This Morning, Frank Ski gives listeners a sneak peek at what they can expect on his Kiss 104.1 morning show.

This week, he’s opening up about something close to his heart: his non-profit Frank Ski Kids.

Channel 2′s Heather Catlin spoke with Ski about the life-changing trip his organization gave to 10 young teens.

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Ski told Catlin the trip was all about combining education and experience, so kids can learn in order to give back.

“Our goal is to take 13 to 15 year olds, when they’re getting to go to high school. To make sure they become leaders in their schools,” Ski said.

The Frank Ski Foundation fully paid for the teens’ 8-day trip to the Amazon Rainforest in Colombia. From learning about different cultures to eating native foods like larva, this once in a lifetime trip was full of firsts.

But getting selected is a learning lesson in itself.

“Normally we have a subject so this year’s subject is the global effect of deforestation,” Ski said.

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Each student wrote a 500-word essay and the foundation narrowed hundreds of entries down to 20.

“Those 20 go to the Georgia Aquarium and they deliver their essays in speech form in front of a group of scientists and people from the city. And then, they get asked questions to make sure they know what they’re talking about,” Ski said.

Of those 20, half were selected to go on a trip that normally wouldn’t have become a reality.

“Eight of them had never been out of the country and four of them had never been on an airplane and then we’re going to the Amazon,” Ski said.

The students got a first-hand look at the effects of deforestation. They also got to meet the communities and see the role they play in protecting resources.

“They have a journal and every day they write. but the last day they have to write their final thoughts. And all of them wrote about how connected we all are in the whole world,” Ski said.

“Change starts with young people and if you empower them with the knowledge them with the need for change when they become adults, they become the change makers.”

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The radio host has been doing these trips for 15 years now and told Catlin how life-changing each has been.

One example: Four kids who went on the same trip the same year all got into Harvard. Their essays were about traveling with Frank Ski Kids and the impact the program had on them.