I was born and raised in Lexington, Massachusetts, and recently graduated from Lexington High School. I love music, basketball, the outdoors, and people. I decided I wanted to take a bridge year before college when I was applying to schools and I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to study, and did not have a specific reason to go straight into the next four years of education aside from the systematic norm that you go right to college after high school. I feel it’s a unique time in my life to take one year to become further educated in a different but equally as important way: outside of the classroom. Furthermore, I’m passionate about meeting people from opposite backgrounds and obtaining new perspectives.

The thought of living in Ecuador for the next seven months is intimidating but more exciting than anything. After six days of the training here in San Francisco, I know that I have made the right decision to take this bridge year, accompanied by thirty-two incredibly motivated and compassionate people. We have had a number of speakers in the past few days who have focused on leading change while touching on entrepreneurial innovation, microeconomics, politics, and third world development. It’s a little overwhelming when exposed to some worldwide issues on a scale that I did not know existed, but we’re gradually learning how to approach the roots of any number of issues in our world.

I anticipate the next seven months in Ecuador will have a momentous effect on who I am internally, and how I see the world externally. Day by day I am more prepared for our departure on October 1st.