On Global Citizen Year

Medhane-Alam Olushola - Senegal


August 20, 2013

To be completely honest, I was not completely enamored or enticed by the idea of taking a gap year for a very very very long time. My mother is the type of mother that reads parenting books and does research into what will be the best for the raising of a child, and since I was very young, she had it set in her mind that I would take a gap year in between high school and college. The initial plan was for me to travel alone across various continents and countries visiting family friends worldwide; however as time passed and the planning began to become a tad more realistic, it became clear that I would require a travel plan with more structure. After some google searching we came across the Global Citizen Year program and I began my application. After being accepted, I struggled with the idea of being separated from my 1st world amenities for an extended period of time.

I eventually came to terms with the idea of unplugging and having less access to my 1st world perks, and committed to the program. I am eager to live life in the Senegalese way. Many of my family friends are from Senegal and they all seem to be very good people with a good set of morals. When asked, they often credit their good character to their upbringing and religion. The African sense of community is very different from the way in which America operates based on one’s self. I am excited to experience these changes and I look forward to my time spent in Senegal with Global Citizen Year. I hope to not only assist in the growth of a community, but also to grow as a person.

Medhane-Alam Olushola