In 2003, Hugh Riddleberger led a group of teachers to Ethiopia to lay the groundwork for an international student service trip.  The idea grew into LearnServe International.  Over the next decade, LearnServe has launched more than 700 students and teachers on the path to innovation and service — and engaged more than 2,500 more in youth-led social change.  In 2013, we celebrated Hugh’s vision and LearnServe’s first ten years.

We invite you to join us as we celebrate LearnServe’s first ten years, and help us build for the next ten years!



LearnServe Ethiopia 2006

Ten Years in Review


Since 2003, more than 700 students and teachers have joined LearnServe programs in Ethiopia, China, Japan, Zambia, Paraguay, Jamaica — and at home in Washington, D.C.  Find out what our alumni and their teachers have to say about their LearnServe experiences and the importance of thinking big!


LearnServe Ethiopia participants

10 x 10


We are proud to highlight essays from 10 participating students or teachers from the 10 years of LearnServe.  What does a LearnServe trip really do for a student?  How does it impact how a teachers leads her classroom?  How does a Fellows project change how an entire school thinks about service?


LearnServe 10th Anniversary GalaHugh-Riddleberger-head-v2


On November 6, 2013, we invited our friends to join us for our LearnServe International 10th Anniversary Gala, an evening honoring Hugh Riddleberger and Louise McIlhenny and their vision for sparking high school students’ passion to make a difference.  The keynote speaker was Billy Shore, Founder and Director of Share Our Strength.  This event kicked-off the LearnServe International Opportunity Fund.



8662829011_58df74dfe1LearnServe Opportunity Fund


The Opportunity Fund enhances LearnServe’s ability to award financial aid and support its commitment to diversity. In particular, the Fund enables LearnServe to support students who demonstrate creativity, potential, and passion for a cause – but lack the resources to participate fully in LearnServe’s life-changing programs.  The Fund supports LearnServe’s work to enhance leadership development, cross-cultural understanding, and social impact.