Simone Fillion-Raff

Simone grew up in New York City and spent her junior year of high school living with a host family and attending school in Rennes, France. There, she developed an interest in international relations and was able to further her long-standing passion for travel, languages, and different cultures. Simone is a competitive figure skater, loves all types of music (particularly indie rock), writes, and is a budding photographer. She has been active in the Gay Straight Alliance and the Dancers Responding to AIDS Organization, which inspires her to bring about the world that ought to be. Simone has been raised as an ardent feminist, foodie (and aspiring baker) and passionate advocate for human rights and environmental issues. During her Global Citizen Year, she looks forward to learning Spanish, immersing herself in a new culture, and putting her values into active use.



The realization that my last month on my bridge year was happening, the days rushing past me like flirty girls, flitting and giggling, waving but never stopping, caused an existential crisis. I began to question the whys, hows, whats of my being in Ecuador, in my neighborhood, with my family. I returned to the idea…

02 June, 2014

Spot the Difference

In twelfth grade, to kick off our final year of high school, we went to Prospect Park in Brooklyn to discuss our roles as the leaders of the school. During this day, we discussed the main ways people identify themselves; for instances, some people may label themselves by ethnicity, sexual orientation, or race. Since I was young, I have…

11 January, 2014

Chicken Fight

It was Halloween and I was lamenting the fact that I didn’t have a costume or a source of candy corn. As it was the last day of the month, at my work, an organization for at-risk children, we celebrate the birthdays that occurred during that month. I had three slices of cake balanced on my arms as…

04 December, 2013

The World That You Need Is Wrapped In Gold Silver Sleeves

When I applied to Global Citizen Year, I wanted to go for the adventure, my overwhelming amount of wanderlust, and the excitement. I never took into account what taking a bridge year meant. Global Citizen Year had us do an exercise to develop our vision for the year. I couldn’t help but internally roll my eyes. I knew…

18 September, 2013


Ever since I could read, I always used books to explore. Although incredibly cliché, I loved that I didn’t actually have to leave my house to climb into the world of Frog and Toad or Molly Moon. My younger, lazier self would be disappointed to find I did leave my home for an academic year…

14 July, 2013

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Simone Fillion-Raff