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  • The 20 hour road trip began in Utah, went through the corn fields of the Midwest, and ended in beautiful Chicago. Our 4Runner, A.K.A. "The Big Red Bean", had no air-conditioning and a roaring, broken muffler. Although the circumstances could have easily led to a miserable trip, my aunt, best friend...

  • Travelling to various countries can impact a person in numerous ways. Not only does it open one’s eyes to other cultures, but it can cause one to contemplate their gratitude of their own nation. For me, travelling to Africa accomplished just that. Instead of the stereotypical “tribal” Africa many...

    Tags: Africa
  • Imagine…  A crystal blue surface The luscious green hues of the thousands of petals and leaves The soft hoots and the cheerful chirps that penetrate the silence The smiles yet to come, The laughter that rings, The memories yet to be seen, To be experienced FINALIST 2013 FTF TEEN...

  • I started dancing when I was five. More recently I have been a member of Encore Theatrical Arts Project (ETAP) for 9 years, performing in countless Broadway style productions. As a member of company, we dance about 20 hours a week. Imagine my surprise when on an ordinary Saturday, our director...

    Tags: Europe
  • "Instead of Tijuana, Mexico...we will be driving to Denver, Colorado!" These words met a chorus of unsuppressed groans. A missions trip to Denver, Colorado sounded about as useless and boring as staying home. My entire youth group thought the same thing: what work could we possibly do in Denver? If...

  • “Mitakuye oyasin” which translates to “all my relations”, is a Lakota Sioux term. However the term goes more in depth. It means all my relations with all humans, animals, plants, rocks, forces of nature, and elements. Everything is connected, and nothing exists in isolation. I’ve weaved that idea...

  • Las Vegas is a glitzy and glamorous city. My Mom, Dad, brother and I flew on an airplane from Allegiant Airlines to the destination. Outside our airplane window was a kaleidoscope of colors from the bright Vegas lights. We had worked so hard and were finally here! We made it to our hotel and...

  • I was raised in Hermiston, OR. It is a small town with a population of about 16,000 citizens. My parents are from a small village in Mexico and arrived here in their late teens. My community is economically stable. Growing up here I’ve never seen poverty. At the age of 15 I was fortunate enough to...

  • I tossed my shoes out onto the roof to dry, and flopped onto my new bed. My eyes were tired, but every time I tried to close them, they begged to be wide open, taking in every French thing in the room my host-mother had set up for me. The thing about travel, I thought, is that it’s insanely easy....

    Tags: Europe
  • I’ve always wanted to see the world. Countless times, after a long beach run, I would gaze out at the Pacific Ocean. With my back turned to my town, and the salty winds rushing past my face, I would feel myself soaring over the cerulean water, beyond those distant rays of sunlight too powerful...

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