Brian Riefler

Brian attended Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York, where he is proud to have worked on the Habitat for Humanity home it sponsored. He is passionate about giving back to the world. After Global Citizen Year, Brian hopes to pursue a career in science. He has been an intern at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute for three years. Brian also enjoys running, dancing, and reading.


Esperanza en Ecuador (Hope in Ecuador)

When a volunteer embarks on a mission to change the world, he finds he has to confront many obstacles, both good and bad. Sometimes the people he intends to help do not understand him because he comes from a different place. There are days in which the world seems to come on top of him….

23 April, 2013

A Day in My Life

A Day in My Life

27 November, 2012

Amazonian Women

As Thanksgiving is coming up, I remind myself of all the things I am grateful for in my life. I’m blessed with food on my plate, a roof over my head, my health, and the best friends and family in the world. I do not always recognize the people I should be thankful for and the hard work they…

27 November, 2012

English is a Beautiful Song

I am surrounded by many beautiful sounds. In the morning, the crowing of the roosters awakens me. In the afternoon, traditional Kichwa music pervades the Cavernas Jumandy water park through the speakers. In the evening, the pitter-patter of the rain drops against the tin roof of my room lulls me to sleep. One sound I did not realize was beautiful to…

26 November, 2012

Meditation in the Maze

Having had a Jesuit high-school education, I have been taught the value of reflection, which I believe is vital to staying centered on life, family, and most importantly to God. Kairos, a three-day retreat at most Jesuit high schools, is named for the Greek term meaning “The Lord’s time” and is vastly different from linear time because it invites us to…

21 November, 2012

“Is Your Hair Color Natural?”

In the United States people describe me as a ginger. In Ecuador I am a gringo (foreigner). I have not had a problem blending in with the swarm of other sojourners in Quito. Outside the city, however, I realized I am a minority: My host mother in the Amazon, where I am living and working for the next six months,…

02 October, 2012

Training at Stanford

Let’s say the world is a village of 100. What do we see? There are differences in ethnicity—57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 Americans (North and South), 8 Africans—gender—52 females, 48 males—religion—30 Christians, 70 non-Christians—language—66 multilingual speakers (not one of whom is American)—sexuality—89 heterosexuals, 11 homosexuals—income—6 have 59% of the world’s wealth (all from the U.S.), 80 live in substandard housing, 50 are malnourished—and…

07 September, 2012

Expanding Into the Unknown

If you told me last year I would wind up volunteering in Ecuador for 8 months, I would have said that you were crazy. I think things happen in life for a reason, and I believe Global Citizen Year is my higher calling to grow further as a “man for others.” I first heard my…

10 July, 2012

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Brian Riefler