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In the Photo: Alcyone Magana, Ecuador '15, Watson University

PEOPLE ARE TALKING

As the global bridge year movement gains momentum, we are proud to have been featured in the following publications as a leader in in the field.

23 Apr 2017 Freshman Year for the Bold

By George Anders   Nicholas Montano has been operating farm machinery in Senegal, turning dried corn into couscous. Noa Bridson has been helping Ecuadorian villagers promote their alpaca refuge as a new tourist destination. Amari Leigh has been selling lettuce and beets at a farmers' market in southern Brazil. All three of these teenagers could have spent the past eight months enrolled in U.S. or Canadian colleges. They graduated from high school in June 2016, with strong grades and admission to the sorts of schools that make parents beam. Instead, though, these explorers...

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23 Apr 2017 Donald Trump should’ve taken a gap year

By Maria Morava, Global Citizen Year Alumna, College of the Atlantic “I think Islam hates us,” I listened as the French dubbing followed, one step behind – “We have to get to the bottom of it. … There is an unbelievable hatred of us.” Then-candidate Donald Trump spoke like we weren’t listening. We — my Senegalese host father, host mother, myself, my 2-year-old host sister — were sitting on our living room floor around a bowl of rice and fish. He spoke like Senegal wasn’t listening. My host father pushed away the bowl and sat...

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22 Apr 2017 Young Americans: This is your chance to make history

By Abby Falik College can wait. In fact, it should.   Dear High School Seniors, As you approach your next steps after high school, consider this: college can wait. In fact, it should. Let’s be real. At age 18, should you already know what ideas ignite your soul? Which burning questions will drive your higher education? What sense of purpose will fuel your life’s work? Most likely, you’ve spent much of your life in a traditional classroom. Some of you may feel like you’re stuck on a conveyor-belt-to-college, running on a treadmill with no end in sight,...

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22 Apr 2017 Readers Tell Us: Is a Gap Year Worth It?

By SONA PATEL Exploring new paths, figuring out a field of study to pursue in college or simply taking a break are just a few reasons high school graduates are taking gap years. We asked readers who have taken a year off from their education what they learned and what tips they have for those who are considering the same. Responses were edited for length and clarity. ‘If you are afraid of something, think about your fear. See if you can work through it.’ KENLYN MIRBACH, 20, Los Altos, Calif. (freshman at Claremont...

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22 Apr 2017 If It’s March, It Must Be Morocco: Why The Prefab Gap Year Fails Our Students

By Sarah Madsen Hardy and Marisa Milanese College acceptance letters have hit inboxes, and another crop of all-above-average kids has eagerly grabbed the brass ring. But if you meet them a few months down the line, as we will in our first-year writing classes next September, it’ll be clear that some of them aren’t quite sure what they signed up for. As one struggling freshman admitted during office hours, averting his eyes from a half-written draft, “College is just something I need to get done.” The remedy, say increasing numbers of colleges and counselors,...

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14 Feb 2017 Dear Malia Obama, Thank You for Taking a Gap Year Before College

Dear Malia, When you announced your decision last spring to take a “gap year” before attending Harvard University I was impressed and excited. It’s not easy to make a choice that goes directly against the prevailing norm, but you did. The momentum of the K-16 conveyor belt that shuttles kids from high school directly to college is a powerful force; it takes courage to step off this path, and even more so to do it publicly. I don’t know the specific reasons you are taking a year “off” (or, more appropriately, a...

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03 Feb 2017 Preparing Young Leaders

Originally published in The New York Times on 2/1/2017. To the Editor: In “The Politics of Cowardice” (column, Jan. 27), David Brooks addresses high school and college students, and rightly so. Today’s young adults are especially vulnerable to the “mean wind” that’s blowing, but whether we allow them to get swept up in the gust is up to us. As a lifelong educator, I’ve learned that the transition between high school and college is a special and largely overlooked opportunity to prepare our next generation of leaders for the realities of our interconnected...

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