Na nga def (Greetings)!
Why is the Opportunity Important to me?
1) Personal Growth:
Throughout my time in high-school, I was always driven to explore concepts that resided outside of my classes. This motivation propelled me to establish a youth leadership organization and to research, write, and better understand the world around me. As an American with a diverse, multi-cultural background, I have always had a sense of cultural identity that resides in me. One of my life-changing experiences was when I worked for the campaign of a presidential candidate of the 2016 election in Haiti. Through this work, I was exposed not just to the socioeconomic problems of lower-income nations, but also the rich cultural pride that fellow Haitians carry. My work in Haiti, which formerly was a French colony, just like Senegal, makes me wonder what the differences in the historical decisions and similarities of cultural values are between these two countries. Perhaps there are practices in Senegal that will be worth learning when reflecting on the country of my own origins. For this reason and others, I believe that visiting and touring Senegal will help me learn about myself and to make changes for the better.
2) Academic and Professional Growth:
I plan to be majoring in Public Policy at Georgetown University upon my return and will establish a career on the development of international policies that align the interest of economic and societal development. During my senior year of high school, I developed a multilateral political model that addressed alterations and reforms related to the structure of the United Nations. My model, however, incorporates my “first-world” experience, education and research. This bridge-year program is particularly important to me, as it will afford me the grass-roots experience from a third-world perspective which is critical for me to complete and eventually publish my proposal. In other words, this part of my journey will lead towards better understanding how policies can be developed that allow economies to do well while being socially responsible. I hope that you will support me on this quest. I will create a Blog or Podcast to share this journey with you.
I thank those of you again for being a part of my preparation. And now, the journey begins! First stop… Senegal!