I have a deeply-engrained love for this culture. I grew up with Celtic music, food, and story-telling. But I have never been able to make the pilgrimage to the heartland.
Since I was seven, I have not been in contact with my biological father, whose permission I needed to obtain a passport. Over these 12 years, my wanderlust has exponentially intensified. Since turning 18 almost a year ago, I have been itching to embrace my new freedom to travel!
This is my first year at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. It just so happens that the summer study abroad trip this year is to Ireland! What better maiden voyage than to the country of my ancestors?
"Coat of Arms"
If I travel to Ireland, I will be studying the effect of religion on Ireland's politics. The country has a long history of tension and violence between Protestant and Catholic Christians. 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, a rebellion of Irish republicans against the British monarchy. I will explore cities like Dublin, Derry, and Belfast, cities where the civil rights movement was born. I will meet scholars and eye-witnesses to the ongoing hostility, including a man who lost his brother in the Bloody Sunday massacre.
As a student of religion, it is hard for me to understand why two religious denominations, especially two which worship the same God, could have such hatred for the other. I hope that by learning the history of this hatred, I can better instill peace in my future classroom, family, and community.
For this dream to come true, I need help. My wonderful mom is contributing as much as she can, but we can't do it alone. As a teacher in training, I lack the means to pay the tuition, but I also know the value of a first-hand, diverse education.
I know this is a once in a lifetime opportunity; it truly would be a dream to see the stunning Irish landscape in person and to learn the history of this beautiful country, a history which is in fact my own.
(pictures are all examples of my original work inspired by my heritage)
I opened an Etsy shop, "Thou Art Illuminated," to support this campaign. Please check it out to get a work of art for your donation!
- Kitty Nash
- Phyllis and Al O'Donnell
- Andrea Cole
- Leslie Yergeau
- Anne Gregas
Organizer and beneficiary
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