What drives me is experience. I long to see new places, meet new people, and experience new things. I enjoy learning through experience, and there's way too much for me to see and learn to be satisfied yet.
I chose up with people to experience all that I could. I wanted to travel. I wanted to make a difference. And I love to perform. It was too perfect for me.
I have learned that all change has to start within yourself. We all are striving to make our world a better place, and this starts with the smallest of actions. Holding the door for someone, hugging your mom, saying thank you. I have learned that people from all around world really can get along. Despite their different backgrounds, religions, and lifestyles. And we are proof of that.
In summation, places have become faces. When I used to hear about terrorist attacks in foreign countries, they didn't affect me. It was just some place I've never been to, and people from another world. Now, I see the faces of the people there. I picture my best friends and their families from these places, and I realize that these horrible things may not be happening to me, but they are happening to real people, just like me.
My host families have taught me the importance of human connection. I may not speak their language, or look like them, but that doesn't mean we can't sit at the dinner table and laugh until we cry.
My best friends are from all around the globe. I have learned that I don't have to stay where I feel comfortable. There are people just like me, with the same hobbies, senses of humor, and interests. We may come from different lifestyles, even different continents, but we are all just best buds at the end of the day.
In Bocholt, Germany, I had the opportunity of visiting a home for refugees. I met some really great people who were just unfortunate. Their homes weren't safe. And you can't help where your home is. We sang a song from our show, called "Crossroads" to them. Crossroads calls attention to the refugee crisis, and tells them they aren't alone, and that everyone should have a place to call home. There wasn't a dry eye in the room.
Everything. I never expected it to change me so much, for the better. I now value things that I didn't before, and I now understand the importance of helping others. For this I am grateful.
I will never want to stay put. I have gained such a zest for life and a desire to see the world and what it has to offer. I will now always strive to grow as a person. I will have integrity in all that I do.
It's an opportunity of a lifetime and I couldn't recommend it more. I learned things I didn't even know I would. It changed my life. Those who are worried about missing college can also earn 12 credits per semester which keeps them enrolled full time. It's an opportunity of a lifetime to travel the world, meet people from every walk of life, and impact the lives of thousands.