I can’t say that I have had a “normal’ education, but at this stage in my life I find that it has been one that serves me well. Waldorf schooling, home schooling, bits of college, forays into art schools in California and New York and a NOLS adventure in Mexico have ultimately brought me here. Standing at the end of one journey and looking into the vast potential of my future, I feel I am at the pinnacle of all that fascinates me, experiencing wonders that feed my mind and soul. What do we experience it all for— if not to challenge ourselves further, deepen our understanding of ourselves and others, and share that understanding with the world we inhabit? I am continually searching for something larger than myself, something that I can take part in, and something that I can contribute to. Spending 8 months in Senegal with Global Citizen Year gives me the opportunity to share, contribute and build bridges, while at the same time presenting me with an extraordinary experience peppered with cultural literacy, deeper global understanding, and new lessons in ways of living.
I recognize my Global Citizen Year as an opportunity for me to share myself in an effort to create connections and learn lifelong skills in building and strengthening communities. Though my decision to participate in Global Citizen Year was not an easy one, the prospect of connecting with people living in a culture and a country so far removed from my own, and bringing those at home a sense of awareness of the lives of others is something I could not forsake. The idea of breaking so far away from what I know —from my comfort zone of family and friends— still brings some apprehension, but this prospect has also led me to the things I treasure most, and subsequently brought me to establish an understanding that my time with Global Citizen Year can shape me into who I aim to be in the world.
I am now ready to embark on this impending odyssey with full gusto and an open mind and heart. Reading about the history and culture of Senegal has only affirmed the excitement I feel and my aspirations for a wondrous life-changing experience. I can only hope that my loved ones at home will support this community building effort that is Global Citizen Year, and adventure with me from a distance.