Welcome to my Nyah Project Ambassador Page!
I became involved with Nyah Project because I truly believe Travel Awakens Leaders. Here's my story:
As a first-generation American, college graduate and Masters student. I've had experiences my single mother and ancestors could only have dreamed of.
One of those experiences has been the privilege to travel. I got my first passport at the age of 9, as I had earned a full scholarship to travel to Spain with my Bilingual elementary 5th-grade class. I was struck by foreign concepts such as afternoon siestas and churros. My Spanish peers' school lunches were served on actual plates with cutlery, not sporks and foam trays. Recess was an hour. That's when I decided, I NEEDED to know how else the world was so vastly different from my own?
Thanks to organizations such as Breakthrough Miami, I was given another opportunity to explore the world. This time, a full scholarship to Paris and Sothern France with Federation EIL, the Worldwide Network of the Experiment in International Living. I learned black and white photography in the streets of Paris; played bocce ball with grandfathers in parks, and met an incredible family who welcomed me as there own. This time it was not the differences that struck me but the similarities. My host sister had her walls plastered in posters. Her room reminded me of my own. We bonded over our love of the television show Charmed and argued over the superiority of Backstreet Boys over N'Sync. (I will forever be Team N'Sync.) That summer, my world got smaller. Things weren't as different as I once thought. The question was no longer, how are we different, but how are we the same?
In peeling potatoes with the kitchen staff at Molapowabojang secondary school as a Youth in Development volunteer in the Peace Corps, I learned that making friends with the lunch ladies will always get you an extra helping of rice or meat whether in line at a public school in Miami or halfway across the world. I learned that cooking and cleaning is always best with music blasting in the background and lots of dance breaks. I learned that a smile goes a long way in getting help asking for directions.
I look forward to seeing what else I learn in my adventures. However, what I look forward to the most is giving these learning opportunities to other "firsts" like me. Youth whose parents don't own a passport or have parents who work two jobs to keep food on the table. These "firsts" are the next generation of leaders in their homes, schools, and communites, the change makers.
That's why I'm on the Advisory Committee of the Nyah Project, an organization that believes "Travel Awakens Leaders." We develop youth leaders through transformative experiences abroad. This connection to new cultures through service allows them to discover their true leadership purpose.
Will you join me in helping create the next generation of leaders?