Why not?

Gabrielle Santos - Ecuador


January 11, 2015

Why do you want to join a bridge year program? Why aren’t you going straight to college? Why do you want to live in a different country?

These are all questions I’ve been asked countless times. My passion for learning about different cultures began with buildOn, a non-profit organization that builds schools in 7 developing countries and provides teens with community service opportunities across the US. I joined my freshman year and later began to do service every week. As I continued to do it, I started to realize that it wasn’t just about helping other people. The people I was helping” were helping me. I was able to see and meet people who came from so many different backgrounds. I was able to hear their stories and learn things about my own city that I probably wouldn’t have known had I not been waking up at 8 am every Saturday to do service. I made strong relationships with people that I probably wouldn’t have met at my school.

Gabrielle Santos