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Lily Shaffer

Lily is a resourceful, energetic, and determined young leader. As a senior, she co-taught a PACE (Personal and Community Awareness for Everyone) class to high school sophomores. In addition, she served as one of two student directors for the community service office and coordinated Theatre Troupe! a weekly workshop for middle school students. Lily also has a passion for music. She was a co-head of the the female cappella group at her high school and she plays piano, guitar, ukulele, and French horn--she's hoping to learn a new instrument in Ecuador! In her free time, Lily can be found writing music and poetry, reading, playing ultimate frisbee, cooking, or practicing yoga.


Alumni Post–On Being a Queer Fellow, Five Years Later

April 19, 2016

I’m going to try to tackle a challenging, sensitive topic, both for myself, for other LGBT folks, for families, and for Global Citizen Year. Please know that this is a narration of my personal experience as a Fellow in 2010-2011, and I am not claiming to represent the entire queer community. I hope that by...

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When You Give a Kid A Camera

May 16, 2011

She’s probably going to be ecstatic. I really couldn’t have imagined the scale Kids with Cameras would grow to–how much energy I would put into it, how incredible the photos would be, how proud the kids would be to share their work, how appreciative the parents would become. Truthfully, Kids with Cameras is what kept...

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He Doesn’t Have Any Shoes

March 17, 2011

Meet Darwin Montoya. He’s eight, the third child in his family. He has three brothers and two sisters.  He was one of my students in Refuerzo and one of my Kids with Cameras participants.  He’s the first one I told about Kids with Cameras. He came to pick up his siblings, Camila and Camilo, from...

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Kids with Cameras

March 10, 2011

The students document their lives through photos and writing, focusing on the parts of their lives that have a large impact on the aspects of their identities that we can't see.

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Learning to Take Control

February 14, 2011

Recently I’ve been able to identify just what it is about my experience that has been making this last month so difficult. I’ve been in a sort of uninspired slump, dragging my feet through the daily routine. My job doesn’t put me in contact with anyone my age, and my siblings go to university in...

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Welcome to the War

February 14, 2011

A few weeks ago, a young woman, Pati, came into Pastoral. She has beautiful dark eyes, a scar on her forehead, and shoulder length hair. She smiles a warm, crooked-tooth smile, and looks up and to the left when she’s thinking. She can’t be more than 26 or 27 and her energy is positive and enthralling. I was sitting on a bench...

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Looking for Colombians

February 11, 2011

My job is exactly as the title suggests: I’ve been hiking through mountains looking for Colombian refugees.

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Suck it Up and Eat the Pig

January 21, 2011

Many of my family and friends have been impressed with how seamless this experience has appeared. In uncountable ways, I have been blessed in every aspect of GCY. That’s not to say that I don’t break down regularly, struggle daily, and miss home, though. So I thought I’d share some of the bumps in my...

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Photo Essay: My home and work in Ibarra

January 12, 2011

So to get a little bit of a taste of my life here in Ibarra, here's a little photo tour of my home and work at Pastoral Migratoria.

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Identity Crisis

January 4, 2011

I want you to take a minute and think about what makes you you. We each have our own story comprised of experiences, friendships, families, opinions—our histories that have gotten us to where we are today.  These backgrounds can be compartmentalized into what makes our identity. There are the physical aspects that may affect the...

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I Will Always be a Gringa

January 2, 2011

I am white. I am a young woman. Luckily, I’m about the same height as most Ecuadorians. My hair is just reaching a point where I can put it in a ponytail. I don’t stick out too much.  But nonetheless, I am clearly an outsider. It doesn’t matter that I call this place home right...

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It’s About Changing Myself

December 30, 2010

For a long time, I thought Global Citizen Year was about changing the world.  It always bothered me when my friends or family applauded me for “saving the world”—that’s not what I’m doing at all.  But, part of my intent of taking a bridge year was to make sustainable, systemic change.  Part of GCY’s intent...

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Video From Caminata al Quinche

December 3, 2010

On Saturday, November 20, I went on the Caminata al Quinche with three other fellows, Pete, Caroline, and Omar, and the family who owns La Choza, an organization Pete´s been working with.  I took some videos during the plilgramage and put them together in a little video. Hopefully it will give you  a sense of...

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I Swear I’m Not a Witch!

November 14, 2010

I had spent the last 24 hours running between my bedroom and the bathroom, being force-fed oregano tea and chicken broth, and battling between “finding the light” in the situation and being thoroughly bummed out I wasn’t at my first day of my apprenticeship.  After a day of this, I was starved, and Mamá and...

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Food Poisoning, Revelations, and a Little Bit of T-Swift

November 14, 2010

At 12:13 on Thursday, I should be delving into the first day of my apprenticeship at Pastoral Migratoria de Ibarra.  I should be jabbering away with Mariela, my advisor, soaking in all that is political advocacy for the Human Rights of immigrants, anxiously planning tomorrow’s trip to Quito where I will be introduced to one...

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Cooking Quimbolitos Con Mama

November 12, 2010

Quimbolitos are little gifts from the gods.  I’m not kidding. They’re these delectable pound cake-like, steamed concoctions of sweet, buttery goodness wrapped up in the leaf of some secret plant I still can’t figure out. If you ever come to Ecuador, make sure quimbolitos are the first meal you eat—they’ll also be the last, because...

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Expect the Unexpected

October 25, 2010

Yesterday I came home from classes and there was Klezmer music wafting down the stairs.  Yes, I am in Quito, Ecuador.  Yes, I’m living in an evangelical Christian household. Yes, my internship with Pastoral Migratoria is affiliated with the Catholic Church. I went upstairs to Mamá’s room and found her sewing muñecas and humming along...

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There’s Something So Strange About Eyes

October 14, 2010

There’s something so peculiar about eye contact with strangers.  I’m the type of person who smiles at everyone I pass on the street.  I learned very quickly that I can’t do that here in Quito.  Perhaps it’s because I’m so blatantly a foreigner, or perhaps it’s just not the culture.  But smiling at a stranger...

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October 6, 2010

Quito, Ecuador.  How can I describe it to you?  My home is at the base of a volcano, Pichincha.  I am terrified of driving in anything but a big bus because the traffic has no rules.  In the morning, it’s warm and sunny and I can see Cotopaxi, a stunning snow-capped volcano, the tallest active...

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What is Empathy?

September 26, 2010

I’m hungry. It’s 11:02 on Friday night and I’m really freakin’ hungry.  This is because I had approximately 2/3 of a cup of rice for dinner.  Tonight, we had an Oxfam hunger fast.  Of the 29 Fellows, five got to eat a typical, delicious (and I mean, unbelievable IONS food) dinner with drinks, dessert, utensils—the...

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My Commitment

September 20, 2010

What a whirlwind these past five days have been! Once we arrived at IONS last Wednesday, we were immediately put into action meeting each other, attending workshops, and working on personal and leadership development.  I realized from the very first night what I had not come to realize before we arrived here: there is a...

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