Marissa Emerson

Hailing from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, home of the U.S.'s largest mall, Marissa Emerson is passionate about music, theatre, the Spanish language, life-long learning, and the pursuit of happiness. Throughout high school Marissa was involved in marching band as a clarinetist and Drum Major, a member of the National Spanish Honor Society and gold medalist on the National Spanish Exam, and an award-winning theatre critic for the Greater Philadelphia Cappies. Her goals in the coming year are to become fluent in Spanish, improve her trumpet playing, and learn about Ecuadorian culture, particularly music and art, and how they influencea a sense of community. A favorite quote of this berry-tea drinking puzzle and riddle solver comes from famous playwright William Shakespeare, "The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief."


The Neapolitan: A Reflection in Three Parts (1/3)

My passion project, also known as The Last Thirty Days (TLTD) Vlogs, started off as a way to jokingly fulfil my mom’s request for a “Day in the Life” video. It’s cool to see now how far that project has come and the amount of time I put into it. To give some context, I…

08 June, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 26

The Last 30 Days (Day 26): April 1, 2018Please DONATE to my Global Citizen Year fundraising page here: Today I got locked in the house again (classic), went to an Easter Luncheon with Alex’s host family, and almost got attacked by a dog. Memory of the Day: Running to catch the bus with Elizabeth…

06 June, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 25

The Last 30 Days (Day 25): March 31, 2018Please DONATE to my Global Citizen Year fundraising page here: Today I spent the day in Cuenca with Gabby and her friends while they worked on a school photography project. Memory of the Day: Slipping and falling into a patch of mud – staining my sweatpants…

06 June, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 24

The Last 30 Days (Day 24): March 30, 2018Please DONATE to my Global Citizen Year fundraising page here: Today I helped fight off a mouse, climbed a mountain to the top of my town, and got laughed at as I fell on the way back down. Memory of the Day: Sending Ramona to chase…

06 June, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 23

The Last 30 Days (Day 23): March 29, 2018Please DONATE to my Global Citizen Year fundraising page here: Today I journaled next to a river, ate lunch at an Italian restaurant for my last Spanish class, and had my last 1:1 with my team leader, Lucia. Memory of the Day: Lucia and I hugging…

06 June, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 22

The Last 30 Days (Day 22): March 28, 2018Today I had my last day at my apprenticeship, ate lunch with the teachers, and got some college news. Memory of the Day: A student named Anahi and who I think was her brother stayed after school just to hang out with me because they didn’t want…

06 June, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 21

The Last 30 Days (Day 21): March 27, 2018Today I finished my Final Community Project (woohoo!!!), had a really yummy lunch, and chilled at home. Memory of the Day: Catching Camila and Erick singing together while washing the dishes was really cute. Their bond as siblings is really something else. 🙂 Please DONATE to…

06 June, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 20

The Last 30 Days (Day 20): March 26, 2018Today I gave Erick his birthday punches, had to explain the seriousness of some of English’s swear words, played Mission Impossible with my host siblings, and got nearly nothing done in terms of packing. Memory of the Day: Showing my siblings my senior year marching band video….

25 May, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 19

The Last 30 Days (Day 19): March 25, 2018Today I got locked in the house (again) and went to the GCY going away party with my host aunt. Memory of the Day: I got to hold Alex’s ~3 year old host brother (whom I call “mi novio” [my boyfriend]) and he reached down my shirt…

25 May, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 18

The Last 30 Days (Day 18): March 24, 2018Today I dumped my suitcases to start packing, watched some awesome Youtube videos (video featured linked below), and went to a baptism party. Video: "Get Out – A New Perspective in Horror" by Lessons from the Screenplay (awesome channel btw):…Memory of the Day: The cutest kitten…

25 May, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 17

The Last 30 Days (Day 17): March 23, 2018Today I set up my Final Community Project and had my last crocheting class. That's basically it. It took all day and when I got home I was down for the count.Memory of the Day: The feeling of accomplishment when I finished organizing everything. That and finally…

25 May, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 16

The Last 30 Days (Day 16): March 22, 2018Today I ate some Italian food, visited Leila, and celebrated Erick's birthday.Memory of the Day: That darn-tootin' banana that kept reappearing throughout the day. Please DONATE to my Global Citizen Year fundraising page here:

25 May, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 15

The Last 30 Days (Day 15): March 21, 2018Today I made sandwiches for teacher snack, bought supplies for my Final Community Project, and got some college news.Memory of the Day: Getting the news that I got another internship that I really didn't think I would get! Please DONATE to my Global Citizen Year fundraising…

09 May, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 14

The Last 30 Days (Day 14): March 20, 2018Today I was shocked by receiving logistics for traveling back home, went to the store with my siblings, and chilled out for the rest of the day.Memory of the Day: Feeling like a superhero by scaring off a dog that was coming after my host siblings.…

09 May, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 13

The Last 30 Days (Day 13): March 19, 2018   Today I graded a ton of papers, visited the hospital*, and had a lyric-yelling war with Erick. *I got permission before filming in the hospital room. Please don’t be worried about that. 🙂Memory of the Day: Eating a red velvet cupcake while walking in the…

08 May, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 12

  The Last 30 Days (Day 12): March 18, 2018Today I ate encebollado, played soccer, dropped my phone a thousand times, and got some college news. It’s one of those days I’m glad I have an OtterBox phone case as well. (Some random text at the 1:07 mark. Sorry ’bout that)Memory of the Day: Ramona…

02 April, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 11

  The Last 30 Days (Day 11): March 17, 2018Today I drank a lot of tea, wrote some blog post drafts by hand, and did a Q+A because I didn’t have enough footage.Memory of the Day: Seeing some solid representation on children’s’ television.   [vc_video link=’’] Please DONATE to my Global Citizen Year…

02 April, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 10

  The Last 30 Days (Day 10): March 16, 2018Today I was mistaken for a dog, went to a festival on a mountain, and dragged a student out of my class by the ear.Memory of the Day: Getting back to the school to see 9 students in the main office just balling their eyes out….

02 April, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 9

  The Last 30 Days (Day 9): March 15, 2018Today I ran into some familiar faces, had Spanish class, and visited an Otavalo-style shop.Memory of the Day: Dancing in the living room for about an hour before bed. I danced alone, but my music was pretty snazzy. Gabriela laughed at me on regular intervals.[vc_video…

02 April, 2018

My [Misnomer] Year

In some ways, this is exactly what its called – a gap year. In other ways, this is anything but. Yes, there is a gap in time on any written document or record of my organized education. It’ll show a high school graduation year a full digit off from the year I start in college….

21 March, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 8

  The Last 30 Days (Day 8): March 14, 2018   Today I wore a really cute outfit (if I do say so myself), had my one-on-one with my Team Leader, Lucia, and did some quick shopping with Maritza.   Memory of the Day: Making Maria and Maritza coffee and being told that after 6…

20 March, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 7

  The Last 30 Days (Day 7): March 13, 2018   Today I made a TON of worksheets, witnessed an epic tickle fight between Erick and Chris, and had a solid cup of tea.   Memory of the Day: Getting locked in my original host family’s house because Erick didn’t know I was still inside….

20 March, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 6

  The Last 30 Days (Day 6): March 12, 2018   Today I graded lots of papers, hung out with my host sister a bit, and started a new crochet project   Memory of the Day: Finding a mistake in the local magazine 😛[vc_video link=’’][vc_video link=’’]   DONATE to my Global Citizen Year…

20 March, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 5

  The Last 30 Days (Day 5): March 11, 2018   Today I got locked in the house, ate some amazing encebollado, and got a nice surprise in my email.   Memory of the Day: My host grandmother, Maria, laughing at me for the majority of the day because of my boots. It’s one of…

20 March, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 4

The Last 30 Days (Day 4): March 10, 2018Today I did a bunch of laundry, filmed a video audition, and watched Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban in Spanish with my host family.Memory of the Day: Taking nearly half an hour trying to make change for my $20 bill to pay $5 for my…

17 March, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 3

The Last 30 Days (Day 3): March 9, 2018 Today I graded a ton of projects and class work, played with with host sister, Camila, and cousin, Christopher, after school, and helped make dinner. Memory of the Day: Laughing at TLTD Day 1 Episode with my host family because Maria walking with the machete reminded…

17 March, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 2

  The Last 30 Days (Day 2): March 8, 2018   Today was International Women’s Day! I went to Parque de la Madre, ate breakfast in Cafe San Sebas, bought flowers for my classmates and host family, and had Spanish Class, .   Memory of the Day: My classmate’s reactions when they realized I was…

17 March, 2018

TLTD Vlogs: Day 1

  The Last 30 Days (Day 1): March 7, 2018   My last 30 days in Ecuador began on March 7, 2018. That day I taught my first class at my apprenticeship by myself, moved into my host grandmother’s (Maria) house, and starting to organize my new room.   Memory of the Day: A student…

16 March, 2018

Cuenca Escape Room – As Told by Gifs

January 20th I tried out Cuenca Escape Room with JuliaGrace, Khuda, and Dale and had an awesome time! Though no phones are allowed in the room, these gifs pretty much sum up a good amount of the experience. We’ll be going back in February to try out their new zombie themed room when it opens!…

23 January, 2018

Before They’re Gone

The last two weeks have been a doozy. Not the, “day after day has an amazing, new surprise” kind of doozy, but a, “hardship after purpose-questioning hardship” kind of doozy. How much I’ve started to miss my at-times monotonous, daily life and the number of blessings I seem to have overlooked makes me realize how…

04 December, 2017

Ecuador Unplugged #1: Surviving Salmonella

“Ecuador Unplugged” is a blog-series aimed to recount experiences in Ecuador in an honest, (hopefully) humorous manner in a format non-traditional for my style of blog posts and more reminiscent of journal entries. Common courtesies of omitting graphic details, sugar-coating, and proper grammar/sentence structure will not necessarily be followed in this series; proceed at your…

17 November, 2017

An Open Letter to My Sister on her 21st Birthday

Hey Moo Moo,   Guess what? No, actually.  Guess. What.   IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!! WOOHOO!   Okay, so maybe you knew that…but still! I’m so excited for you and I’m not even on the same continent as you!  Yeah…actually about that. I’m really sorry I can’t be with you today and celebrate with you. Not…

16 October, 2017

Meet My Regional Cohort: Rosé All Day!

Get to know my Ecuador Regional Cohort, Rosè All Day, in this quirky video inspired by questions found at:   [vc_video link=’’] (Filmed and edited on the iPhone 7 with iMovie)   •Donate to the Global Citizen Year scholarship fund here: Click the links below to subscribe to the individual Ecuador Blogs of the fellows…

07 October, 2017

Dear High School Class of 2018

Dear High School Class of 2018…You Got This!!! Here’s some advice from graduates from the Class of 2017 that are taking bridge years around the world through Global Citizen Year!  [vc_video link=’’] •Subscribe to my blog below! •Donate to my Fellowship Fund fundraising page here: Special thanks to all the fellows that participated in…

25 September, 2017

8 People That Have Inspired/Impacted Me Throughout Program Launch*

You may be wondering why I've written a list of eight individuals and not a nice, well-rounded number, like ten. Well I'll tell you that there is a deep, philosophical reason for it that will absolutely blow your mind: Eight is my favorite number. (Mind = blown) So, here is a list of eight people that…

12 September, 2017

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Marissa Emerson