One of my favorite Intellinet benefits is our Sabbatical program. In gratitude for every five years of service, Intellinet grants its employees additional vacation time to use for a Sabbatical. In 2011, I took my first Sabbatical and last year I earned another!
The spirit of this benefit is to give Intellineters the time and opportunity to do something good, to make an impact on their community. I recently returned from my second Sabbatical serving alongside my wife, Julie, as Chaperones for 16 high school students. Our job was to SAFELY lead the students to China as part of the Confucius Institute cultural exchange partnership between Kennesaw State University and Yangzhou University in Yangzhou, China. Yes, I actually paid money to deal with 16 high school students in a foreign country for two weeks!!!
For my wife and me, this opportunity wasn’t only about handling travel logistics and ensuring we returned the kids back to their mammas with zero scratches. It was an opportunity to come alongside each student during the experience and help them understand, appreciate, and gain a healthy respect for a foreign culture. So yes, I did see amazing places, but honestly the most rewarding aspect of my Sabbatical in China was working with the students.
A rising high school sophomore on the trip remarked to me one day that the experience exposed more than a few misconceptions about China. He said, “I saw China in another light and grew to love it!” What a privilege tobe part of opening their eyes to a vastly different world beyond their home town. Can’t wait for my next sabbatical!