Why I Chose to Take a Year as A Global Citizen

Antoinette Cavagnolo - Ecuador


November 14, 2016

Attending college was my goal throughout all four years of high school and I met with mentors and counselors regularly to keep me on track. Throughout high school I remained involved in my school's AVID (Advanced Via Individual Determination) program and outside of school I was involved with Huckleberry Wellness Academy and Summer Search. After the first semester of senior year, I decided  to drop  the classes  that made me eligible to apply to a four-year university.  At the time, I decided going to my local junior college would be best for me financially considering that I would transfer after  two years.  A few weeks after completely changing my initial trail to a four-year university I was introduced to Global Citizen Year. While in Summer Search, I was funded by the program to go on a 21 day wilderness trip and a two week service trip to Costa Rica. I knew from my past service trips I loved to travel and learn about the world while working with organizations to better support a community. Especially after visiting Costa Rica I was considering  joining the Peace Corps. After talking with my Summer Search mentor and AVID teacher whom I was very close to, I agreed a gap year would be a good decision. The fact that I loved to travel, learn about other lifestyles and had a dire need to find my identity in a new environment- I couldn't imagine doing anything else.  I filled out my application and I was granted an interview. After everything was said and done I waited impatiently to hear back from the program. The day of my senior prom I received my letter in the mail.  I opened the letter, excited and nervous,  in front of my best friend and family. The inside folder that was tucked into the big orange envelope in golden letters read, “Welcome to Global Citizen Year”. I couldn't help but scream and jump up and down with euphoria. The first thing I did was call every other member in my family to let them know I was accepted into Global Citizen Year. I was unbelievably excited to take on this new transformative adventure . Not only  was I the first  in my family to graduate from high school with a diploma, but I was also now  the first  to do a gap year. Underneath it all, I had no clue what I was about to embark on or witness over the next 8 months abroad.

Antoinette Cavagnolo