Hello everyone, my name is Annie Schwandner and I am 18 years old. I was swooped up from China as a nine-month old baby by my adoptive parents, and then raised as a Cincinnatian for nearly my whole life. I have so much love, respect and appreciation for my hometown, Cincinnati, but I have never shied away from an opportunity or adventure. As I was applying to colleges and making my future plans, I started to realize that the old standby of college then career was not so standard anymore. People have and continue to venture out and create their own personal anecdotes, opinions, habits, and interests. My brain suddenly clicked and I realized that I needed to be one of these individuals; I needed desperately to expand my horizons and have full-hearted faith in myself for doing so.
As I was realizing my need for more independence, self-reflection, and knowledge; a little birdy told me about Global Citizen Year. And here I am today writing my first blog entry to the beginning of my numerous tales to come. I will be staying in Senegal, Africa for my gap year, and I hope to achieve a higher sense and awareness for honestly everything I can possibly fit in my mind. I need to thank everyone who helped me in this process; I will forever be grateful. So I invite you to vicariously join me through this blog to get a taste of what I will be doing and experiencing in my upcoming gap year. I write to you with eyes unclouded by preconceptions and judgment.