Saturday, May 27, 2006

Award-winning Designer and Aeronautical Flight Test Engineer Leave Lucrative Careers and Partner to Form The Global Awakening

Award-winning Designer and Aeronautical Flight Test Engineer Leave Lucrative Careers and Partner to Form The Global Awakening

Steffen and Boys Smith set to embark on the organization's first mission as "The Traveling Guys."

Ellensburg, WA (PRWEB) January 23, 2006

With a desire to make an impact on the world, and firmly believing that change begins with just one act of kindness, award-winning art director/designer, Lee Steffen and aeronautical flight test engineer, Patrick Boys Smith left the corporate world behind and have partnered together to form the non-profit organization The Global Awakening.

Committed to raising and inspiring a new generation of international leaders to be the catalysts for long-term, systematic change throughout the world, the organization’s desire is to be a conduit of compassion, education and inspiration to others.

“Giving hope, and appealing to the hearts of individuals, rather than to pity and guilt, is a message that is essential to spark change, shift paradigms and challenge others to be proactive,” says Steffen, co-director of The Global Awakening. “Look at a critical issue like unclean water… It would be typical to read that over 30,000 people die per day from preventable water-related diseases. In contrast, the same issue needs to be communicated that just $1 could provide an individual with fresh water for an entire year -- something that nearly everyone can afford to give.”

In order to accomplish its goal, The Global Awakening plans to spearhead special projects and build strategic partnerships with individuals, faith-based communities, major institutions, leaders and other like-minded organizations. A few relationships have already been established, with Living Water International and Youth With A Mission teaming up with The Global Awakening to collectively pool their resources in order to complete global projects.

Steffen and Boys Smith will be embarking on The Global Awakening’s first expedition themselves and have aptly dubbed the project “The Traveling Guys”. The pair will set out on a 12-month journey around the world beginning January 22nd. Spanning six continents, with stops in over 35 countries, the goal of the trip will be to show compassion to those they come in contact with by breaking cultural barriers with acts of kindness, to educate the general public, media and leaders about ways to alleviate global issues relating to health, poverty, hunger, equality, environment, disasters, suffering and oppression and to compel others to action by making a difference in their own corner of the world.

The Traveling Guys will travel using “Round the World” airplane tickets to get to the major destination points, while other forms of transportation will be utilized to travel from country to country and between cities. As a major cornerstone of The Global Awakening philosophy, the Guys will carry out special projects throughout their journey, including building and repairing wells in Central America, India and Africa, building a house in Honduras and a myriad of projects related to the poverty stricken areas in China, India and Africa. The two will also be available and willing to help out in any way possible as needs present themselves at a project’s destination. The travel schedule has been planned in a flexible manner to allow the pair to cater their time to the individual needs of each community they visit.

Throughout their trip, Steffen and Boys Smith plan to use their individual talents to help educate others on their experiences. Using their website as a “home base”, the two will update with blogs, photography, video episodes and podcasts. The Traveling Guys are also joining forces with various media outlets and organizations, including the Los Angeles Times, to follow the pair on their travels and to help educate the general public on ways they can help alleviate world-wide problems.

In an effort to work toward The Global Awakening’s goal of motivating others to action, yet realizing that few can take a trek around the world, the pair is inviting individuals, groups, organizations and corporations to partner with them on projects in each community. A special section on The Traveling Guys’ website highlights information on each project and an estimate of what it will cost to accomplish the project. Those who so choose can make a tax-deductible pay-pal donation toward an individual project or a general donation to be used in the area that is most needed. Steffen and Boys Smith will post updates on each project so the partners can track the progress. The pair is still in the process of planning projects for the year-long trip and is open to partnering with additional organizations.

Lee Steffen’s enthusiasm for travel and adventure is very evident at the first glance of his list of life goals. Of the 219, well over half of them are related to travel and adventure. Steffen's zeal for both music and creativity has placed him in many different places, most recently Nashville, TN, where he was the nationally award-winning Art Director for CCM Magazine. Also an accomplished musician, Steffen plays more than 10 instruments and has recorded and released two full-length albums. Steffen has consulted with companies ranging from Fortune 50 corporations to small startups, and projects ranging from multimillion-dollar proposals to non-profit fundraising. He holds an MBA and a BA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois.

Passionate about the outdoors and an accomplished mountaineer, Patrick Boys Smith, a trilingual, has lived in four countries, five states and has visited over fourteen nations. He received his degree in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Illinois and received a minor in International Studies. After graduation, Boys Smith spent two seasons working at Mt. Rainier National Park as a Climbing Ranger, where he assisted climbers and conducted mountain search & rescues. Boys Smith left behind two careers in order to start The Global Awakening—one as an aeronautical flight test engineer in Seattle, the other as Director of Operations for a vision clinic in Ellensburg, WA.

Originally planning to embark on their world travel in July 2005, but encountering a few setbacks in their departure date, Steffen and Boys Smith felt compelled to make good use of the extra time by heading to New Orleans just after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. Traveling back and forth between the Houston Astrodome and the devastated areas of New Orleans, the pair assisted in a multitude of projects including distributing supplies to devastated areas, managing operations for over 7,000 people at a shelter in Houston and partnering with various governmental agencies to assess the need to redistribute excess hurricane relief supplies from Houston to the New Orleans area.

“We couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to travel around the world and bless others,” explains Boys Smith. “But we want to encourage everyone to realize that taking action does not require you even leave your own community. And, it also doesn’t demand that you uproot from your life or career. There are needs everywhere. Our hope is that others will be inspired and challenged to make an impact as well.”

For more information about The Global Awakening and the Traveling Guys or to partner on a project, please visit the online base camps: www. theglobalawakening. org and www. travelingguys. com.

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