Emily Hess

Emily Hess comes with a deep interest in global issues and notable leadership experience. She served as the vice president and secretary of the Japanese National Honors Society at her high school (2009-2010) and as a participant in the 2009 Model UN Conference in Chicago. She is passionate about politics, theology, and literature and spends her time reading, playing guitar, researching, and blogging.


Alum Post: The Year of the Coaster

Towards to end of my bridge year, every expert, friend, Peace Corps volunteer, and staff member warned the fellows that life after this, to say the least, would be a “roller-coaster”. By that, they meant that there would be a fair share of ups, downs, loops, side spins, twirls, jerks, and bumps. The description of…

05 August, 2011

A Responsible Night In Peace

Looking back on some of the first nights in my homestay, I remember seeing the two-year old of the family sleeping on a mattress in the living room without a mosquito net. There was a mosquito net, but it was tied up above the bed of my parents in the other room. For the most…

25 April, 2011

Well, Water

Water and power outages are a really big problem in Senegal. I’d go so far to say that it could very well be the biggest problem in Senegal, but I never put anything number one on any list because I’m usually proven wrong. So let’s just say that as far as I can tell right…

05 April, 2011


As I carefully write out the date on the top of the blackboard on a cool afternoon, kids are filing in, shaking my hand and greeting me with “good afternoon” and “how are you, today?” and the like. And as the usual bustle of murmurs and laughter dies down, I step back. I look at…

04 April, 2011

A Glimpse of My Four Days a Week

When life isn’t crazy and unexpected, this is my four days a week.

03 February, 2011

Family For Life

I guess one of the most unusual parts of this entire trip is the idea of being part of a family unit again. It’s been about 7 months since I’ve moved out of my parent’s house in Indianapolis. Since then, I’ve been pretty much independent as far as functioning without a family is concerned. I…

16 January, 2011


As I fumbled along the strings of the guitar, I only remember praying. I prayed that I would have the strength to sing in front of these people, I prayed that I would remember which chords came before which, I prayed, especially, that I would convey the message to my peers just how much this…

11 November, 2010

First Culture Shock

“It’s good, it’s good,” I keep telling my host mother in French. I 
really don’t know what else to say. Literally; I can’t actually say 
much else than that. But I’m learning. Not to sound cliché, and I 
really tried to look for another way to put this, but these last few
days have been, dare…

06 October, 2010

I Hope I Prove You Right

As I sit in my nearly completely packed up room at IONS, I’m mulling over these past two weeks and wondering to myself what has come over it. I was so afraid upon arrival that I’d be too shy and too withdrawn to enjoy my time here as much as I should. And for a…

01 October, 2010

Far From Indiana

There have been a lot of things that have gone through my mind over the past week or so that I’ve been with GCY Fellows here at IONS in California. A lot of these things I don’t know how to convey with words, but mostly, it’s been a challenge and a learning experience I have…

26 September, 2010

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Emily Hess