Hi there! Thank you for visiting my campaign page! My name is Payton Billingsley, and I am a student recently graduated from high school. In the spring of my senior year, I decided to defer my enrollment at the Honors College at Mississippi State University to pursue a gap year, to find an educational adventure beyond the walls of a traditional classroom. I feel blessed to have received an opportunity beyond my wildest expectations, and am running this GoGetFunding campaign to help fund my time abroad!
In mid-November, I will be flying to Lima, Peru, to work with Planeta Oceano, a conservation and sustainability nonprofit. Conservation and sustainability have long been my passions, and the work I will be doing in Lima is, essentially, my dream job. I will be working under Kerstin Forsberg, an award-winning conservation biologist (2013 Forbes 30 Under 30 in 'Social Entrepreneurs'; 2013 World Wildlife Fund International President's Award,) to gather and analyze data, develop research project proposals, and educate inner-city youth about the importance of conservation. In addition to my work in conservation, living in Lima will allow me to finally establish fluency in Spanish, the language I have been studying since seventh grade. I am excited beyond measure to get to Lima and learn absolutely everything that I can until my return to the States at the end of May!
I will be paying for my own housing, food, and transportation during my time abroad, and have been hard at work since the spring to make my trip possible. After a summer busy with a full-time job, three part-time jobs, and a handful of babysitting gigs, I am on the cusp of where I need to be financially to remain independent through the duration of my trip. Any funds that you would be willing to donate would be greatly appreciated! In the event I do have a balance left in my travel account when I return to the United States, that money will go directly toward funding my next big adventure-- my college education. I am incredibly excited for the future, and deeply humbled by the endless support I have felt from my family, friends and community. Thank you, and God Bless!
UPDATE: You can now follow along with my adventures on my blog! www.paytoninperu.wix.com/blog Be sure to subscribe at the bottom of the homepage for updates!