I was born in Greenwich Village, and I’ve lived in downtown Manhattan my whole life. As a personal introduction, I am a photographer, squash player, proud city kid, nature lover, and avid World Wrestling Entertainment drama viewer.

Back home, my older brother and sister are both currently in college. As a high school student, I wasn’t ready for or enthusiastic about a 4-year commitment to an institution. A bridge year before college was an idea I had kicked around, but my plans only went as far as referencing a country to visit and some couchsurfing experimenting to do. In the middle of my senior year, I found GCY through a family friend who is a donor.

To me, GCY is an opportunity for a necessary exploration. I think it’s somewhat irresponsible of me to go into my college with one perspective on myself and my community, one impression of education and no idea what I want to learn. My time abroad will probably scatter me in many ways, breaking previous impressions and inviting in culture shock. But when I pull those pieces together, that mended mentality will be more informed than I could be without the shock. Essentially, I’ve spent a lot of my time in soup kitchens and inner city classrooms and I want to graduate from this experience with either an idea of how to help people on a grander scale or an understanding of what I want from my world and my education.