Curiosity, Opportunities, and a Decision

Lauren Holt - Ecuador

July 11, 2012

The world is a big place.

I think just about anyone could come to this conclusion on their own. The world is fascinatingly large; we are surrounded by people and places we have never seen or encountered even though we’ve learned about them in school. Some say that we’re beyond our carrying capacity and that the world will soon end, yet the population continues to grow and the earth continues to turn. It’s all very interesting and I’ve always been curious to see how the world works with my own eyes.

My name is Lauren Holt and I am from Raleigh, North Carolina. I have been blessed in ways I could never possibly put into words. I went to a high school that taught me what it means to be a “citizen of the world” and how to think outside of the box. I learned how to connect things I was learning with my life outside of school, and I’ve always hoped to do that on a bigger scale.

If you had told me that I was going to take a gap year three years ago, I would have told you that you were crazy and might have disregarded the idea altogether. I always imagined myself going straight to college with my friends and immediately becoming successful. However, though I didn’t see this until senior year, my high school and teachers taught me how to be open minded and thoughtful. Let me tell you, I am so thankful for that because it led me straight to Global Citizen Year.

I believe that there is always something more that I could be learning from others. I want to have more experiences that open my eyes to the world around me. I am absolutely ecstatic to be a Global Citizen Year Fellow for that exact reason; Global Citizen Year is an experience that would allow me to grow and learn in ways college never could. I also believe that after twelve consecutive years of school, it’s time to give back. We have the knowledge to think and process information, to keep ourselves alive, and to make the right choices. I believe that at this point in my life, it’s time to put all of that knowledge to good use. My goals are simple: to help people and to never stop learning.

I’m in the process of meeting the other Fellows and organizing fundraising ideas, and it’s exciting to know that this is only the beginning. With each phone call I make to relatives and friends telling them about my gap year decision, this dream becomes more and more of a reality. Yet it’s impossible for me to imagine what this next year is going to be like. No one can; we’re all going into it blind, but we’re all connected by our decision to take this gap year.

The world is a big place, and we are just beginning to take our first steps in it.

Lauren Holt