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  • My family is known for our great spring break trips. We've traveled to Costa Rica, England, and Spain, to name a few. Yet the most memorable trip we took was not to another country. Spring break of 2010 my family flew 3,000 miles from North Carolina to the southwestern US, to view the Grand...

  • Dr. Sadat arrives home from a long day of work. Greeted by his family, he settles into his favorite spot in the Persian-styled family room. The evening news is switched on, and a gloomy light fills the room as ABC, CBS, or Fox delivers a seemingly endless string of events to the Sadat family's ears...

  • In the summer before 9th grade, I went on a Mission trip to Cacalchen, Mexico on the YucatanPeninsula.  For a week, I was immersed into a culture that was totally foreign and alien to me.  What struck me the hardest was the poverty and scrappy lifestyle that the native Mexicans were living.  On the...

  • In 2009, my step-father, Dan, lost his job – what a bummer. My mom is a teacher, so she had the summer off, and now Dan had a lot of free time on his hands. They decided to take their kids, all seven of us, on a cross-country road trip. Yes, most people thought they were nuts! However, we set off...

  • The stow-n-go compartments of our sky blue Town and Country were filled to the brim with food. If we were going to make it from Iowa to Florida in three days there would be no stopping to eat. My brother made the cold meat sandwiches while I dished up a pile of potato chips and handed the paper...

  • It was my first day in Little Bay (Philipsburg, St. Martin, Dutch Antilles); my first day in paradise. Clear water, velvet-soft sand, piña colada paradise. In the turquoise water I felt at ease and breathing under water was natural; as if breathing on land had been strenuous training for the...

  • Snap! I had been carrying a bucket over my head when the unnerving sound interrupted my train of thought. The sound was the straining and stretching of muscle in my ankle as I tripped over a pile of rocks in Nicaragua. Did I really just do that? Quick, I need to think of a cooler story before...

  • Passport in hand, I nervously make my way through the Lindberg terminal alongside my mom and her sister’s family. We have been invited to the wedding of my aunt’s foreign exchange student in Guatemala. An hour early, we look up at the flight scheduling only to find that our flight has been delayed...

  • Community service has always played an important role in my life. From an early age, I have been dedicated to helping those in need. I volunteered at a preschool, a warehouse where food was being packaged for children worldwide, and many other places. I was raised with an understanding that it is...

  • I walk through the big chestnut double doors, trying to be as quiet as I can so maybe I will be invisible. I hear soft music playing as background fillers, there isn't much commotion. Everyone lost in their own thoughts. I see my family gathered around as I take my first step in. My heart is...

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