ARE YOU MISSION READY?
There is no better way to witness the incredible work Operation Smile does to change the lives of children living with facial deformities than joining us for one of our medical missions. Selected high school students and interested student sponsors accompany our surgical teams to clinics and facilities all over the world where these life-changing surgeries are taking place. Check out the information below for more details:
Because Summer MTW will be an international site, both Winter and Summer applications will run simultaneously. You will have the option to choose which one you are applying for. For those who are not accepted into Winter MTW, your application will automatically roll into the Summer MTW candidacy.
What: WINTER Mission Training Workshop
Who: High School Students, Adult Student Sponsors
When: Friday, January 17 to Monday, January 20, 2020
Where: Operation Smile Headquarters, Virginia Beach, Virginia
What: SUMMER Mission Training Workshop
Who: High School Students, Adult Student Sponsors
When: Friday, July 10 to Monday, July 13, 2020
Where: Lima, Peru
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
The primary role of a student team member is to educate and prepare the trip’s local populations on basic healthcare that will improve their quality of life.
To prepare students for this vital role, we invite them to apply for Mission Training Workshop. This is hosted twice a year in the United States: once in January at Operation Smile Global Headquarters in Virginia Beach, and once three days prior to our International Student Leadership Conference in July. These students are tasked with being health care educators; during mission training, professionals train them in burn care, oral rehydration therapy, dental hygiene, hand-washing, nutrition, and hands-only CPR. This workshop gives attendees the confidence to teach this important information with patients, their families and others. Students who are accepted into Mission Training Workshop MUST be able to attend a medical mission prior to their high school graduation date.
- A rising high school sophomore, junior, or senior (at least 16 years of age)
- An active member of an Operation Smile Student Club or founding member of an Operation Smile Club
- Involved with Operation Smile for at least one year
- Indicate dedicated participation and exceptional leadership
- Attended a previous International Student Leadership Conference (ISLC)
- Students MUST meet all requirements in order to apply
ADULT STUDENT SPONSORS
On each mission, students are accompanied by an adult student sponsor. Adults are invited to apply for Mission Training Workshop. Adults applying must accept the responsibilities that accompany that role. During a medical mission, the student sponsor has many obligations, primarily:
- Ensure the safety and security of the high school student team
- The students are trained to teach the fundamentals of basic health care, informing local populations of skills that will improve quality of life; ensure student team teaches these health care modules and tally and report the number of presentations
- Encourage the development and growth of the high school student team
- An adult older than 26
- Able to demonstrate previous involvement in Operation Smile
- Involved for at least one year
- An adult participant at a previous International Student Leadership Conference (ISLC)
- Comfortable chaperoning two high school students in a foreign country
- Sponsors MUST meet all requirements in order to apply
If accepted to Mission Training Workshop, each participant will have a fee of $325 USD to cover program costs. The fee to attend a mission is $1,000 USD and this covers airfare, accommodations and some meals. Participants will have to pay for their visa (Operation Smile will facilitate the process), required or updated vaccines to enter the country, some meals and their own incidentals.
Before applying, there a few things to note. These items will also be detailed out in the application.
- Participants who are accepted to MTW must be flexible in their school schedule. Placement is determined by availability and we rarely have student missions that fall during holiday breaks or spring break. For example, we typically do not send student teams in December, early January, and have sent 1-2 teams during the summer months.
- If accepted to Winter MTW, your placement will be between February to May 2020. If accepted to Summer MTW, your placement will be between September to November 2020.
- Participants are not guaranteed a mission as that is dependent on the mission schedule and the flexibility of the student. Often times participants who are not able to go on a mission are the ones who cannot get excused from school.
- Training is valid for one year. Participants will be placed with their training class, and if the participant declines, they will be offered one more mission. After that, the participant moves to a mystery mission pool where if the opportunity presents itself, we will reach out.
- Mission cancellations happen. Often it is due to logistics of the site, current events within the country or a health concern. If Operation Smile cancels a mission, it is what is best for our patients and/or our volunteers. Student Programs will make every effort to replace the mission, but patience and flexibility is appreciated.
Mission Training Workshop Application
To complete your application, the following things are needed:
For students – MTW application, two letters of recommendation and one video.
For student sponsors (adults) – adult application and one letter of recommendation.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Applications are due October 25 by 11:59pm EST