My name is Tom Linford and I was born and raised in San Francisco, California and I will be going to Brazil next year. My alma mater, Lowell High School, is the oldest high school west of the Mississippi. It is an extremely high caliber high school academically because it is the top public high school in San Francisco and proctors the second most AP exams total in the entire country. Although there is little competition between the students, stress frequently takes over student’s lives. While so focused on stressful tests and papers, Lowell’s students rarely are able to remove themselves from classroom and bring a real world perspective to what they are learning.
I chose to do Global Citizen Year because I realized whatever I learned in high school was essentially meaningless without direct understanding of other cultures, real world experiences, and broader international issues. I hope that Global Citizen Year will provide me with the real world experience and maturity I need after my seven month stay to better tackle any challenge, including college.
Even though I am fortunate enough to go to a foreign country at such a critical stage of my life, I feel that such an experience is something everyone should enjoy or endure at some time in their life. I think everyone should learn a new language, discover a new culture, and witness the effects of poverty from a first person perspective. This is why I am prepared and energized to spread my story in the hopes that others will follow suit.
Finally, here is a video of me introducing myself: