Mia and Brianna

Twin sisters Mia and Brianna, former residents of Mercy Home, recently embarked upon a trip of a lifetime to India with a non-profit program that aims to tackle global challenges by engaging young leaders of tomorrow via cultural immersion, educational apprenticeships, and real-world experience.

After a week-long training in California, the sisters will head to Pune, India, a sprawling city 90 miles southeast of Mumbai, where they will spend nine months teaching English for Teach for India. While abroad, they will live with local host families as they learn the Hindi language, as well as the local dialect.

Teaching will be Mia and Brianna’s main apprenticeship, but there will be ample opportunities to help in areas of environmental sustainability, women’s empowerment, and conservation.

Both sisters are passionate about global justice as it pertains to the above issues, along with mental health awareness, spirituality, and art.

“I always wanted to help people. That was always instilled in us by our parents,” said Brianna.

Mia, who was involved in an activist group in high school, is ready to take her convictions to the next level.

“I always wanted to help people. That was always instilled in us by our parents.”

Mia, who was involved in an activist group in high school, is ready to take her convictions to the next level.

“Activism is something I’m very passionate about — especially education and sustainability. I just wanted to continue that after high school,” she said. “I was looking at programs that focused on that internationally. I’ve always wanted to travel and do good things for other people.”

As kids, Mia and Brianna moved around a lot as their parents struggled to pay rent. When their father went to prison, their mother, whom they rarely saw, worked three jobs to make ends meet. At one point, they were homeless as had to live in a shelter.

“Growing up, we didn’t really have a lot,” said Mia. “I guess that’s one of the reasons I’m passionate about homelessness and poverty issues, because I know what it’s like to not have anything.”

Now that Mercy Home helped stabilize their lives, the sisters look forward to experiencing a new culture as they take their compassion, humility, and humanitarianism overseas.

“Growing up, we didn’t really have a lot. I guess that’s one of the reasons I’m passionate about homelessness and poverty issues, because I know what it’s like to not have anything.”

“Travelling is something my mom always wanted to do, but never got to. I feel like if her kids do it, she’s still accomplishing it,” Mia said. “My mom is really proud and happy that we’re doing this.”

Both sisters are thrilled about seeing the world, yet they remain grounded. Rather than getting wrapped up in the romance of international travel, both Mia and Brianna are tuned in to the journey, not the destination.

“It’s better to experience the world beyond what you’re used to because there is so much stuff you haven’t experienced,” said Mia. “It’s important, as a human, to experience and indulge in what other humans indulge in.”

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