Hello, my name is Lily Ellenberg. I have lived in Portland, Oregon my entire life (so far), and I just graduated from the Catlin Gabel School. I went to Catlin for fifteen years, the vast majority of my life thus far. Both my parents work at the school, and my little sister also attends. In short, we are a Catlin Gabel family.
I loved my time at Catlin and plan on staying connected to the school for years to come. However, I also feel an undeniable urge to branch out and experience something new. My parents, who have traveled their whole lives, and some close friends who are involved in development work, have inspired in me a curiosity for exploring different cultures. I have done a fair amount of traveling myself, on both school and family trips, and have fallen in love with the excitement of discovery.
Before the Global Citizen Year representative visited my school, I had not seriously thought about taking a bridge year. Many adults in my life had suggested that a gap year may be a good fit for me and after listening to the presentation and skyping with some of the then-current fellows, I knew immediately I was interested in what they had to offer! It was a hard decision, as being in a foreign country for a year will be an interesting challenge, but I can’t wait.
I want to spend as much time as I can with my host family, getting to know their friends and relatives. Getting to know the people in my city/town well is what I am most looking forward to. The reality of my situation has not completely sunk in yet, but I am ready for what is ahead in beautiful Ecuador!