This is a photo I took at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral procession. This is a photo I took in London. This is a photo I took on my first trip out of the country in my whole life. Up until the week I took this photo, standing on Abingdon Street with a cheap disposable camera and drizzle on my face, I had stayed on the continent I was born on and lived in the same area where I had grown up.
I had never taken a plane over an ocean or been anywhere I couldn’t find my way home from eventually.
This photo was taken during my introduction to the rest of the world.
And, maybe, in some small but significant way, it was the reason that I applied to become a Fellow with Global Citizen Year. You see, my plans had already been made. I had registered for classes at the New School. I was spending nights looking over my to-do list, the one with never-ending catalog of things I could and couldn’t fit into a suitcase. I was reaching out to friends in New York and had a running page of suggestions for places to go when I got there.
And when I got an e-mail about the partnership between Global Citizen Year and Eugene Lang College I knew attending the program wouldn’t make my life easier. It meant folding up my lists, scrapping my to-do’s and preparing myself in a different way. But it felt right. Because for the last four years I’ve worked as a journalist for Youth Radio in Oakland, California. I’ve worked on radio and print stories about the juvenile justice system and the way it touches everyone, whether they’ve been involved in it or not. These stories are local and they’re national. But I know, and I knew when I read that e-mail, that to really tell stories right I need perspective. I need to know how the lives of young people in other countries are different, how they are the same, and where the core is, what connects them.
I hope to one day help tell the stories of young people in Latin America and all over the globe.
So, I applied. And, since you’re reading this, you probably already know I was accepted. Now, I’m getting ready for the first part of my journey, the Summer Campaign, where I raise $2,500 toward the scholarship fund that helps young people go on this same trip every year, and gain 50 subscribers to this blog. And even though the road to where I hope to go is different now, I know the end destination is still the same, and that I’ll be stronger when I reach it.