This past summer I was lucky enough to get a scholarship through the military to go learn Arabic in Morocco. Through this humbling and life-changing experience, I was able to surround myself in another culture firsthand while learning about humanity and my place in it. This is what truly kick-started my passion for service/justice work and giving back to the world that has given me so much.
This is why I have two very new and exciting endeavors in my life to announce: 1. I am going to El Paso, Texas over spring break on a service trip, and 2. I am going to Washington, D.C. for three weeks in May to meet and network with top-level officials.
First, about the service trip, I will be spending my spring break this year (March 3-8) learning about immigration by living with the migrant, homeless, and economically disadvantaged population of the border region. Our volunteer work is done through the Catholic organization called Annunciation House (https://annunciationhouse.org/about-2/history-philosophy/), which houses refugees, homeless persons, and migrants that are unable to receive the basic social services other impoverished people in the U.S. use to live on. Through this experience, 13 other Villanova students and I will be able to live with them, pray with them, and most importantly share stories and reflect on both of our experiences. Not only will this kind of hands-on learning help me in my long-term goal of opening up my own non-profit organization, but it will allow me to further reflect and grow as a human being and a child of God.
I have also been accepted to a three-week (May 14-June 1) "minimester" in which I will be living at Catholic University in Washington with 14 other students and the director of the Political Science Department. Here, we will be learning about public policy by going directly to the source: the policymakers in D.C.. We will be given the opportunity to sit down with top-level officials from the White House, Congress, the Department of State/Defense/Education, various news agencies, and more, just to ask them questions and learn from their experiences. In previous years, they have met people like Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, House Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan, and DNC Chair Howard Dean, to name a few. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will help me with my Air Force career, post-military career, and my overall professional development. (https://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/psc/undergrad/dc.html )
As amazing as these experiences are, they of course come at a cost. Although I have worked hard to get scholarships and worked extra hours at the coffee shop to pay it off, I still have a balance of $2100 between the two trips.
The Service Trip balance is $750 that will cover my flight there and back and my food/expenses while I am in El Paso. This money is due by February 23.
The Washington trip balance is $1350, which covers my housing, transportation, and expenses while I am there. This will be required by April 1.
Since I have been in college, I have realized that my mission is to be a source of light in the world. I truly believe that my faith and my desire to learn, grow, and give back is calling me to embark on these two experiences. The only thing standing in the way of me achieving these goals/dreams of mine is funding it. Whether you want to give to one trip or both or even just your prayers, I am forever grateful for your support and love. Thank you!
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