Toluwani Roberts

Toluwani is passionate about reading, music, and art as a tool for social change. Her goals for the year are to become fluent in Spanish and form meaningful relationships with Ecuadorians who are leaders of social justice in their communities. She will always remember the words of T.S. Eliot: "We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

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What follows is an informal response to my two favorite questions, “How was your Capstone?” and “How was Ecuador?” A few weeks ago, I revisited my high school to give an overview about my year in Ecuador. It was the easiest way to tell my…

31 May, 2018

It Follows (or, What to Expect as a Young Black Woman in Ecuador. If you identify with either or both, this blog post is for you)

Throughout the year, I’ve talked a lot about my personal experience in Ecuador; about my growth and experiences as Toluwani. However, my identity goes beyond my individuality, for lack of a better word. It’s important for me to illustrate my experience as a black young…

07 March, 2018

Welcome Back, Queso

My January and February have been bien full with travel. So far, I’ve adventured in Baños, Cuenca, Cañar, and recently, in Puyo, a community in the Amazon. There are so many stories to share; too many to fit into this post. Instead, I’ve decided to…

15 February, 2018

“R.I.P Queso” or “Wherever you are, come home”

  This blog post is way overdue. It’s about time I told y’all a lil about my host family and apprenticeship.   I’m a new member of the Andrango family. The family consists of Yauri, my 21 year old brother who is currently studying in…

11 December, 2017

La Idioma de La Vida

I’m in a “complicated relationship” with language. I studied Spanish in school for six years. Yet when I arrived in country, I struggled to find the words to communicate with my first host family, my Spanish teachers, and my second (now permanent) host family. For…

08 November, 2017

Salty Water

This blog post is inspired by my tears. I have cried more this week than I can remember crying this whole year. I didn’t cry when I left New York City. I didn’t cry during my week at Stanford or during my week in Quito….

23 September, 2017

Bienvenidos a Ecuador!

Welcome to Ecuador! To become acquainted with your new home, we are going to start by placing you in an isolated area for four days, starting Thursday, September 7th. It is a large compound –  a spiritual retreat center – called San Patricio. The area…

15 September, 2017

Orienting Myself to Orientation

This week is nothing like I expected. I told one of my mentors before I arrived at Global Citizen Year’s Program Launch that I was least excited about this first week. I hate orientations: the hyperactivity, anxious kindness, the leech of fresh and desperate “friendships”….

30 August, 2017

An Open Letter to Myself

August 26, 2017 New York, NY Dear Toluwani, In just ONE DAY you leave for the greatest adventure in your lifetime. You’ll walk into the airport, with just a carry-on suitcase and backpack in tow, with your mother by your side, print your ticket, cross…

26 August, 2017

Donations Welcome

Thank you for all who have donated to Global Citizen Year’s Scholarship Fund. Your participation has brought me closer to my goal. 100% of the proceeds goes towards next year’s class of Fellows. Support our future leaders by clicking the link here: https://donate.globalcitizenyear.org/fundraise?fcid=991882 Thank you!

05 August, 2017

Fun Fact: I’m Scared

Fun fact #1: I knew that I wanted to do a “gap year” before I even applied for college. The best learning I had ever had was outside of the standard educational system. Summer internships and my semester school taught me more about myself and…

30 July, 2017

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Toluwani Roberts