OUR STORY AND MISSION
FLYTE was founded in 2015 by the New York Times Bestselling travel author, Matthew Kepnes. His website, Nomadic Matt, is one of the most popular website for budget travelers. Growing up in Boston, Matt didn’t take his first trip overseas until he was 23. That trip changed the course of his entire life. He returned from his trip, quit his job, and in July of 2006, set out on an adventure around the world. He’s been traveling ever since, and has dedicated his efforts to helping people realize their travel dreams and make them a reality. Realizing that so many students never get to experience the transformative experience of travel, he founded FLYTE.
The Foundation for Learning and Youth Travel Education (FLYTE) is a nonprofit foundation providing funding, teacher support, and itinerary planning for high school students in underserved schools with the aim to promote cross-cultural understanding, interpersonal skills, global awareness, and leadership skills. We fund classroom trips to help bring real world context to what students learn in school.
At FLYTE, we believe that through these global experiences, students will be encouraged to explore and develop their understanding of the world and foster a sense of possibility in the them. We to inspire students to seek new experiences, encourages them to engage as global citizens, and instills in them the idea that the world is so much bigger than the community from which you come.
(BEST Academy students visiting Mexico.)
(Anacostia D.C. Public School on a field trip in Cuba.)
(Anacostia D.C. Public School students in Havana, Cuba.)
(Excelsior Academy students in Ecuador.)
(Excelsior Academy students exploring Ecuador.)
Matthew Kepnes, otherwise known as Nomadic Matt, is an American budget travel expert. An intrepid globetrotter, blogger, and the New York Times Bestselling author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter, Nomadic Matt and his money-saving travel secrets have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Time, BBC, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Lifehacker, Buzzfeed, National Geographic, and more. After a trip to Thailand in 2005, he decided to leave the rat race and explore the world. So he finished graduate school, quit his cubicle job, and, in July 2006, he set out on an adventure around the world. Matt’s original trip was supposed to last a year. He didn’t return until 18 months later. Once back, he knew he couldn’t go back to his old life or a typical job—Matt wanted to travel. Three months later, he was on the road again and hasn’t stopped since.
Knowing how impactful travel can be, he was inspired to help create this organization. Never having gotten to travel in his youth, he wanted to use his resources to help others see the world.
Courtney joins FLYTE as a dedicated youth education advocate, with years of experience working within the higher education and non-profit sectors, all while pursuing various adventures around the globe. She has a double major in political science and international studies from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. While at UW-Stevens Point, she fell in love with travel and spent a year studying abroad in the beautiful cities of Krakow, Poland, and in Szeged, Hungary.
Courtney pursued her study abroad passion by working with the International Academic Programs department and Division of International Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She acted as the financial and budgetary manager for study abroad programs throughout the world, and worked extensively with students to secure financial aid and scholarships to make international education a possibility for hundreds of college students. Following her experience at UW-Madison Courtney worked with iMentor, a New York based mentoring organization, as the Manager of Strategic for Initiatives. She also served on the Youth, Education, and Human Services Committee for Brooklyn’s Community Board 6, and worked with various Brooklyn schools to promote access to computer coding and technology programs.