Federica Borrelli, 2014

 In Featured, Leadership

My name is Federica and I come from Italy where I am studying the field of Psychology.   This field attracted me since my spirit has always been motivated to do good for others.

I’ve also always wanted to challenge myself with new and incredible adventures.  This desire led me to gain experience abroad and face myself outside of my comfort zone.  Through Lunaria, an Italian organization that collects and offers international volunteering opportunities from all over the world, I found Sprout.  I remember reading about the volunteer position and feeling immediately warm from my

stomach through my heart to my cheeks: Sprout was made for me.  It was the pleasure of traveling, combined with helping an incredible organization based in New York that is focused on amazing projects committed to giving a wonderful time to everyone [volunteers and participants].

When I landed in NYC for this new adventure, I was very aware that I had a lot to learn, and was full of joy and fear about the unknown.  During my first month at Sprout, I learned the ability to improvise in all kinds of unforeseen situations.  I also gained the perspective that I do not always have to be the person who is right in the situation.  It is more important to cooperate and sympathize with your co-leaders so that you spend time doing the most valuable thing: having fun.  I especially loved my trips to the Poconos and to Toronto, Canada.  I felt as though I were among a group of close friends on vacation and not actually “working.”  Great memories include singing loudly on roadtrips, being dubbed “the queen of selfies,” and seeing all

fede-2sorts of incredible landscapes and visiting fascinating cities in the USA.  I remember as well the physical tiredness and the difficulty sometimes of dealing with demanding people or logistic issues.

At Sprout, the more you give, the more you get back.  I will always consider my time there as one of the most formative experiences I’ve ever had. Sprout taught me how to be part of doing something great that is bigger than myself, gave me the strength of mind to solve problems one by one (but also all together), and showed me that even if I am exhausted, I can always give more as long as I stay flexible and positive.

All of these new skills are important new skills which will remain in my background.  Plus, I also gained self-confidence and greater fluency in speaking English as a second language. I love making a difference in peoples’ lives and gained so much inspiration from this rewarding job.  Every day of my life, Sprout remains stuck on my heart; I am always ready to talk about my time there and have already successfully encouraged some new people to come join the family!

For 3 years now I have been coming back to Sprout, and I wish for myself that I will always have the opportunity to keep coming back every year of my life.


Federica showing off her 2014 Sprout Film Festival T-shirt in Rome!


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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and despite great efforts from the staff, volunteers and our generous community of supporters, we have come to the disheartening realization that there is no viable way to continue with our travel and recreation programs.

As of June 30, 2021 we will no longer offer our travel and recreation programs and will be focusing exclusively on our film distribution service Sproutflix (www.sproutflix.org).