It was a big decision for me, choosing to take a year off of college in exchange for the opportunity to study abroad in another country for a year. After overcoming the struggles of applying and getting rejected from numerous colleges, I applied to Global Citizen Year. This was my opportunity to live abroad and explore the world just like I’ve dreamed of for years. I was dead set on leaving, in the hopes of learning more about myself and embracing the multiple aspects of different cultures, but I began questioning this decision when I got my college acceptance letter. I had not yet heard if I was accepted into the Global Citizen Year program, and college was now promised! I waited and waited, and the day finally came when I got that phone call at 10pm telling me about my acceptance into Global Citizen Year, and I realized at that moment that college could wait.
I live in the Bronx and come from an area where going to college is rare and an accomplishment, and having the opportunity to explore and study in another country is unimaginable. As a child I hoped that I would travel and be able to help others in any way that I could. This program is the perfect chance for me to do exactly that. Not only do I get to broaden my horizons and help other people, I get to share my perspective of the world and learn about other perspectives. I also want to use this program to free myself from the restrictions of technology. I find that people are so engrossed in the latest phone, iPod or computer that they no longer get to feel the thrill of living. Aside from doing what I can in Senegal, which is where I will be spending the year, I want to LIVE: embrace nature and all it has to offer without any distractions, embrace the diversity of the culture, the people, the food, and the music. I just want to make the best of my trip and learn as much as possible.
My name is Natasha Torres and I look forward to diving headfirst and completely immersing myself in another culture and language to the best of my ability. August 19th couldn’t come sooner!