RINGWOOD, N.J. — Northern Passaic County has been home for Jen Silverman most of her life. The Ringwood resident and West Milford High School graduate will soon expand her horizons farther, though, to 11 different countries in 11 months.
Silverman, 29, joined the World Race and will start in January. She will grab her backpack and perform volunteer work with local churches and organizations globally.
"I think it's going to be amazing and intense and challenging," Silverman told Daily Voice. "There's a lot of things to process. It's a lifestyle you may not be used to."
The 11 countries are Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia, Chile, Romania, Balkans region, Greece, Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda.
Silverman has traveled the world before, as she taught English in Korea and Thailand after she graduated from William Paterson University.
This time she will have a team of fellow volunteers with her while she works in orphanages, teaches, and talks to human trafficking victims, among other work.
To take part in the trip, Silverman has to raise almost $17,000. She found a unique way to do so as she came up with a set of challenges she would have to do for each milestone in her fundraising.
She has to dye her hair after reaching $500 raised, for example. Other markers include getting hit with a balloon full of paint, running her first 5K and bungee jumping.
Any obstacles in her way will be well worth it to see the world, Silverman said.
"This is definitely a dream that's been in the making for awhile," she said. "I've always seen myself doing something like this to help so many people, and then to challenge myself to do something this big."
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