SBU student hopes to raise money for Australia trip

01/27/2012 9:00 AM |
Brian Carrick

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Brian Carrick of Aquebogue, pictured here in Jamesport, is planning to leave the shores of Long Island to help clean up the environment in Australia as a volunteer. He’s trying to raise money through donations to help pay for the $5,000 trip.

There’s not a lot Brian Carrick hasn’t tried. He is an avid skydiver, earned a pilot’s license, took up surfing and obtained a SCUBA license all before he turned 25.

But this summer, he will try something he’s never done before: volunteering.

Mr. Carrick, 24, a Riverhead native and a sophomore at SUNY/Stony Brook, plans a trip to Australia in July with a student volunteering group to help with conservation of the Australian wilderness.

The four-week program, run by International Student Volunteers, includes two weeks of volunteering followed by a two-week “adventure tour” that takes the 70 students across Australia to experience the country’s culture. The program features both conservation and community-building opportunities, but Mr. Carrick said he chose the environmental portion of the trip because of his love for the outdoors.

Once he learned about the program, the decision to go was a no-brainer, he said.

“For most people it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” he said. “How many people have been to Australia?”

Mr. Carrick said he has traveled in Mexico, but this will be the “first of many” trips so far abroad. But the volunteering trip isn’t cheap. The program costs more than $5,000 overall, and Mr. Carrick is looking for sponsors to help him fund his excursion. But the price tag won’t stop him — he has already booked and says he is “going no matter what.”

He credited his father, Kevin, who served in the Air Force for 25 years before settling down in his hometown of Riverhead, with his adventurous attitude.

“I went to some pretty interesting places over the years,” Kevin Carrick said. “I’m sure the kids growing up picked up on that stuff.”

Mr. Carrick said he supports his son’s trip and is proud that Brian will be getting college credit for volunteering. But he also said he hopes his son doesn’t enjoy Australia too much.

“We just hope he doesn’t buy a house and stay down there,” he joked.

To learn more about Brian Carrick’s program and how to sponsor or donate to his cause, visit Donations are due by April 25.

[email protected]