Volunteering

  • To say life in Nicaragua drastically changed me would be an understatement. As a resident of an affluent area in San Jose, California, I have lived in a sheltered bubble for my entire life. A lot of risks that I wished to take were objected to by my parents and peers. Living in the heart of Silicon...

  • High in the Andes Mountains, three flights and a four-hour bus ride away, is my second home, Cuenca, Ecuador, where a piece of my heart will always be. QUARTER-FINALIST 2015 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP On August 5th I set out with Humanitarian Experience for Youth (HEFY) for Ecuador. There...

  • Helping Children in the Preschool

    During the summer before my freshman year in high school, I went on a mission trip with my mom, bother, and a few members of my church to Panajachel, Guatemala. We traveled down there to help an organization called Mission Guatemala. Since 2009, Mission Guatemala has been helping the locals in...

  • Ropes Course

    June 16th, 2015, the day my life changed forever.  My mom tried to hide the tears in her eyes as she told me how proud I make her.  It was the last time I would see my mom and sister again until August 27, 2015.  In front of our apartment was the government car and standing beside it, two soldiers...

  • QUARTER-FINALIST 2015 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIPSpacious greenery surrounds me on all sides, dabbled with dots of civilization. We are distributing food atop a short but broad mountain in the modest village of El Diamante, which translated into English reads, “The Diamond.” Initially, this...

  • I love Disney, and I was rather upset when my parents broke the news to me that we could not go to Disney World for fall break. The very next day, my school's campus minister announced in our morning assembly that an extra spot just opened up on his fall break mission trip team, and he needed...

  • This past summer I was fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship for a trip to Bolivia and Peru for 24 days. It was with the Youth Ambassadors program sponsored by the US State Department. I traveled with 11 other people who I didn’t know and to a continent who’s language I didn’t speak....

  • The emergency room in Bolivia.

    Blood dripped from the patient’s thumb as an intern jabbed the crescent needle into the nail. The man felt no pain, as he’d received painkillers moments earlier. Clad in a scratchy lab coat, I watched the needle travel through the jagged wound and a knot pull the two sides together.HONORABLE...

  • Me in my Civil Air Patrol uniform

         I could feel the pressure waves reverberating through my body. They started with a tingling in my feet, raced up my torso and stopped in my chest. I was keenly aware of every heartbeat, the dull pounding amplified by the force pressing upon my body. The excitement I was feeling made it hard to...

  • The children at the health fair

    Significant moments in life are often connected to memorable places such as Paris, where we snuck my grandma’s ashes into the Tuileries gardens, or Belize, where I spent my final fishing trip with my grandpa. When people think about places that have resounding effects on them many will mention...

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