My name is Fikrte Abebe, I am from Ethiopia and came to the United States at the age of eight. One of the main reasons my parents wanted to move to the United States was because they wanted a better educational opportunity for their children. Therefore, taking a year off school was out of the question for my parents. But I was intrigued by Global Citizen Year and I immediately knew that this program was for me. The biggest challenge for me at that point was presenting it to my parents and getting their approval. This issue proved to be a bigger challenge than I thought and it even brought me to doubt and almost give up on Global Citizen Year. I did not want to face my parents so I tried to forget about Global Citizen Year. But the more time passed and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I did not try to make it work, I would regret it.
I know that this path is unconventional and that I may receive criticism not just form my parents, but also from other family and friends. But I also know that education and true knowledge do not come just from sitting in a classroom and listening to a lecture. Experience is the best way to gain knowledge as well as apply the knowledge gained. Global Citizen Year not only offers that but also gives me the chance to practice my passion for helping people. This was more than enough reason for me to face my parents and tell them that they had to let me go through with it. Although it did not come without a fight, my parents miraculously reacted better than I thought and now I am here writing my entry for my first blog post. I know that this experience will be one of the highlights of my life and I cannot wait to absorb every moment of it.