Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to explore, see different places, and experience what else is out there in the world. Adventure called to me even at a young age, and now that I am old enough, I am ready to answer its call. I never knew why I had this urge, but something deep inside me told me this was what I wanted and was meant to do.
I have always had a varied relationship with school and I knew high school was going to be no different. One day I sat in homeroom, soul searching and trying to brainstorm a way to overcome my shyness and make high school better for me. I knew at least one thing, that I needed to find what I loved to do and what I was good at. A few minutes into class, a video on the screen interrupted my thoughts. It showed a new group that had formed a club at the school, and I was instantly interested. It was a group called Building with Books, which is a non-profit organization that gives teenagers the opportunity to serve their community and travel to foreign countries to build schools in communities that really need them. One of the major reasons I joined the club was my love of books and reading. Later, the group changed its name to BuildOn, but the original name really resonated with me for its purpose and meaning.
At first I was nervous about the local volunteering aspect of BuildOn, in which teenagers volunteer in their own communities, but I was definitely enthusiastic about traveling the world. Over time, I grew to love the local volunteer opportunities as well. Then a new program through BuildOn, called Trek for Knowledge, which allows students to travel to foreign countries, appeared in 2009, and I was the first and only person to register and get accepted. I was thrilled and ready to make a difference. Unfortunately, I was unable to go due to my passport coming late. I cried for hours, but I then realized that there would be more opportunities to travel with and experience this marvelous program. Fortunately, I ended up going to Malawi, Africa with Trek for Knowledge in 2010, and I had the time of my life.
Being able to travel to Malawi, Africa changed my life. While in Malawi, I found a sense of love and kindness I had never encountered in a community before. I was inspired and realized then and there that I wanted to make a difference around the world. In Ecuador, I plan on trying my best, exceeding all of my limits, and overcoming my personal obstacles to change the lives of others by the positive demeanor I have acquired.