Cody Blakley, 2014
Hello everyone! My name is Cody Blakley and I am originally from Wilmington, NC. I have just graduated from Rowan University in New Jersey, where I was studying Applied Sociology. My future educational aspirations include attending grad school in the near future where I plan to earn my Master’s in Social Work.
April of 2014 was when I was first exposed to Sprout. Around this time I was applying to work for an organization that was similar to Sprout, but operated on the West Coast. Due to the fact that I lived so far away, I was unable to work with this particular organization.
However, I was referred to Sprout since I lived relatively close to New York City! After doing some research, I was very intrigued by the work Sprout was doing in the community and in the lives of those with disabilities.
My very first trip was to Rhode Island. Initially, I was very nervous simply because I had no prior experience being on a Sprout trip. While I did feel very well prepared and trained prior to leaving for Rhode Island, I was still a little nervous for I knew I still had a lot to learn.
Overall, the trip turned out to be a great one.I did find it slightly challenging to manage a group of 10+ participants at times on my first trip, but I knew that I would improve in this area with the more trips I went on with Sprout. I had to continuously remind myself that I had 2 other leaders to lean on at any time during the course of the trip. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the participants when I went to Rhode Island and since then I have had the opportunity go on other great trips with Sprout.
Following going to Rhode Island, I had the pleasure of going on a trip to Southern California, a Cruise to Nowhere, Cancun and, most recently, Barcelona.
I continue to volunteer with Sprout because it combines two of my passions; helping people with disabilities and traveling. Sprout is a very unique organization in that it addresses a crucial need that is sometimes overlooked.
Those with disabilities need that extra support and guidance when it comes time for them to go on vacation, and I am happy to be a part of an organization that allows me to address that need.