Hi. My name is Josh Thompson.
During my freshman year of High School I traveled to Nicaragua on a week long “missions trip” with my church. While I am not certain about the impact of the trip (there are legitimate concerns about the efficacy and wisdom of short term missions), I was definitely enlightened by the experience. I gained knowledge about a different culture and awareness about the plight of the less fortunate. I gained a desire to learn, to grow, and to serve.
I had an impetus. Now the opportunity: Global Citizen Year. It is a bridge year program that consists of an immersive homestay and apprenticeship coupled with extensive leadership training. Global Citizen Year provides the framework to satisfy the desires created by my experience in Nicaragua. I will learn another language (I know about as much Spanish as I do Klingon—that is to say, very little) and of another culture through immersion. I will grow as a leader and a person through the challenges of living in a foreign country. And I will do all of this while serving others through an apprenticeship.
In about a month I will board a plane and depart. When I think about it, I can’t tell if I’m more terrified or more exhilarated. But I know it’s the right decision. What is 8 months compared to a lifetime of opportunities?