The People to People student ambassador organization helps promote peace and understanding through America’s youth. People to People allows many youth delegations to travel abroad and experience other countries’ cultures. To be accepted into their organization, you have to be recommended by one of your teachers and show leadership in your school and community. If you are qualified, you are expected to attend an interview. There are six preparatory meetings throughout the year prior to your travels to meet the people you will be traveling with if you are accepted into the delegation.
When I arrived at Dulles International Airport, I felt very nervous and unsure of my abilities to break away from the security of my parents. I started to think of all the negative things that could occur at home while I was away. I barely knew the people in my delegation and it would have been easy to give up and decide not to follow through with the journey. The experience would help me learn a lot about myself and how far I could push myself outside of my comfort zone. As our delegation passed through security before arriving at the gate, I felt the same sense of security within myself. I was on top of the world.
Once we were in Europe, the first sight seeing opportunity our delegation had was the Tower of Pisa. We learned that the structure was supposed to be built straight and perpendicular to the ground. This idea was flawed when the tower began to tilt after the builders had completed only the third level. The workers did not let this obstacle stop them and they overcame nature’s challenges by finishing the structure to create something beautiful. This helped me understand that though life has its setbacks, you shouldn’t let them stop you from achieving your goals.
The most empowering experience I encountered was when I repelled down the side of an Italian castle wall. As I stood on the edge of the wall preparing for my descent with my heels shaking over the edge, I convinced myself that I had the strength to complete the repel. My confidence was boosted to an unprecedented level. As I eased up on the thick rope and sunk down into a perpendicular position to the wall, I knew the only way to conquer this fear was to have confidence in myself. Once I had completed the descent and touched solid ground, I felt invincible and learned that I could do anything I wanted to as long as I was confident in myself.
As I left Europe, I felt like a completely different person with a new sense of security, confidence, and love for the world. My experiences helped me recognize many of the outstanding qualities I possess and how to effectively use them to my advantage. I could accomplish anything I wanted if I just put my mind to it.
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