An intensive, 12-week leadership experience that equips students worldwide with powerful skills for a lifetime of social impact. Designed as a 5-7 hour per week commitment, the Academy adds an enriching layer of purpose to high school, college, travel, or work.
A deep, 8-month immersion where students live alongside the global majority in Brazil, Ecuador or India and develop the insights, skills, and network to become the leaders our world needs. Fellows build language fluency, develop resilience, and become part of a community a world away from home.
My definition of home has expanded more than I could have imagined in the past two years.
24 months ago, home meant living in a house with the number 102 and a best friend living in house 103 on that same street. It meant a hammock hung between two dogwood trees, and a treehouse I helped to build. It meant five plates on the table for dinner and taking up a whole row of seats at church.
A year later, and home expanded to mean something else as well. It meant sleeping on a floral couch that used to belong to the Bob-Dylan-loving lead singer of a bluegrass band. It meant dinners involving tortilla chips and frozen blueberries. It meant a hammock hung up on the balcony and not singing at the top of my lungs because I didn't want to annoy the upstairs neighbors.
Home still meant summers on the screened porch and bonfires when it turned chilly and waves too small to surf, although that treehouse was taken down when I wasn’t home to help.
Fast-forward mais um ano (one more year), and home means mosquitoes in my room and cups of coffee until late at night and wearing havaianas inside the house. It means fruit trees out my window and not singing at the top of my lungs because nobody knows the songs I want to sing. It means sunburns and salt that never leaves my hair and songs that make me tear up and waves too big for me to surf and learning to sit with loneliness and needing at least two languages to fully express what I want to say.
My homes today are all of the above, each one full of love and light and music. My definition of home grows with passing year, because home means so much more than a building.
About Caroline Smith
Caroline is passionate about music, social justice, and all living things. Her involvement with various musical groups throughout her middle and high school years has given her a passion for people and the various ways in which they communicate whether it be through language, music, actions or some other form of expression. Her experience as a runner and field hockey player in beautiful North Carolina has given her a great appreciation for the outdoors and nature, including animals. Her goals for the year are to become proficient in Portuguese, form strong bonds with her host family and community, and broaden her perspective of what education means. She is inspired by the the outdoors, friends, family, and music.