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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.

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Esperanza en Ecuador (Hope in Ecuador)

April 23, 2013

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....

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A Day in My Life

November 27, 2012

A Day in My Life

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Amazonian Women

November 27, 2012

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...

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English is a Beautiful Song

November 26, 2012

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...

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Meditation in the Maze

November 21, 2012

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...

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“Is Your Hair Color Natural?”

October 2, 2012

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,...

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Training at Stanford

September 7, 2012

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...

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Expanding Into the Unknown

July 10, 2012

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...

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