Isabelle Johnson

Isabelle is passionate about language, culture, and economics. She cares deeply about the world and those in it. By traveling and living abroad, Isabelle has formed friendships and connections all over the world. She hopes to have a lasting impact on those she meets while in Senegal, and looks forward to learning new languages and way of life. Isabelle hopes to make every second of her bridge-year count, before she goes on to study international relations and global economics in college. Isabelle finds inspiration in nature and simple beauty, as well as the selflessness and kindness of so many in her life.


An Open Letter to Two of the Most Important People in my Life

;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-color:initial;margin:0px;line-height:normal;font-family:".SF UI Text";color:rgb(69,69,69)”>   Dear Grandma Mary & Grandma Peggy, Maybe the most important thing my gap year has done is open my eyes to the importance of family. I have witnessed countless sacrifices made in the name of family, and unwavering love & respect for…

23 February, 2018

The Drive

Just some thoughts from a recent drive.      A few weekends ago I traveled north with my little sister to visit an aunt in Saint Louis who recently had her baby girl.    We crawled out of bed at 5:45am to catch the bus…

23 February, 2018

“Finding Myself”

My first few weeks in this country acted like a giant wrecking ball came down on me without mercy. It squashed me into nothing & showed me how massive and diverse the world can be.  These last 4 months have slowly built me back up…

06 January, 2018


Not a day passes in the small, rural village of Colobane where the phrase nohi tamin (Sereer Laala for "the sun is hot") isn't uttered over & over. It is a frequent addition to the extended greetings made throughout the day to neighbors, friends, &…

18 December, 2017

Month 1, Theme: Happiness

Hello All!  The culture shock has subsided, the fog has cleared, and i can finally form semi-rational thoughts about the last 3-4 weeks. It's been an eye-opening, difficult and wonderful adventure. First of all, I am starting to get used to all of the little…

12 October, 2017

Peace Only

The last week of training is finally coming to an end. The cohort & I have been staying at the TosTan Training Center in the city of Thiès. TosTan’s mission is to bring the community together by teaching literacy skills to adolescents and adults in…

10 September, 2017

The Beginning

Packing up my life into a few bags and leaving home (yet again) was not as easy as it had been four years ago.  When I was 15, I felt more then ready to leave home. I rushed through goodbyes and swallowed the salty tears…

01 September, 2017

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Isabelle Johnson