If you’ve been around Depart Smart awhile, you know our advocacy came from a trauma point when our sixteen-year old son, Tyler, died a preventable death on a People to People student trip to Japan in 2007. Our lives were altered in the most undesirable ways, forever. Tyler’s wrongful death lawsuit settled in 2009.  A year after his death, People to People Student Ambassadors hired Mike Bowers as a Senior Safety and Health Director.  Mike and I have maintained a relationship built on mutual trust and respect for more than a decade. We stand on common ground and share mutual goals.

People to People Student Ambassadors went out of business in 2015. Mike then advanced student travel safety as the Chairman of the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) for years. SYTA’s safety mission, in part, is to “Discover, develop, promote, and implement best practices in student travel safety.” SYTA links to Depart Smart Travel HEROES Safety training as a best practice on their safety page.

In November 2018, Mike joined our nonprofit Depart Smart Board of Directors.  In his words, “I saw so much potential to reduce unwanted events from occurring through Travel HEROES Safety training.” Mike is influencing youth and student travel safety as a subject matter expert.

Teach and Travel Magazine (March 2019) published an article by Mr. Bowers entitled, “What’s your plan B?” He wrote the article after he completed Travel HEROES Safety Certification. He referred to himself as a travel veteran saying, “I learned important information from this course and was reminded about how many more safety practices I knew but grew complacent about. I am so impressed with the skills and information this innovative travel safety tool provides, that I joined the Depart Smart board of directors.”

Depart Smart mined hundreds of tragic stories and sought the expertise of renown global travel safety experts to comprise Travel HEROES’ safety skill-building, award-winning, life-saving course. In about an hour student travelers and chaperones are guided through six, 10-15 minuted modules to prepare a personalized, travel safety emergency contingency plan.

St. Cloud State Confucius Institute is our pilot program.

Tyler, and many others, would be alive if they knew the safety skills we teach. Everyone should know how to be their own hero on foreign soil. Travel safety training standards help people, especially students, earn safety super skills so they can be their own hero and advocate for themselves so they get the timely help they need. We experience super skill transformations in our audience, often.  It’s hugely rewarding to know you have helped save lives.

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about integrating Travel HEROES into your youth and student travel and study abroad programs to SAVE LIVES. If you are a commercial business, our sister organization DepartSmart.com can help.

It’s an honor and a privilege to work together with Mike Bowers.