Getting over it may be the best thing that’s ever happened to me

So, I didn’t get in. And since Barnard is the only school I want to go to, I’m going to take a year off school to travel and volunteer, and then re-apply. It might be a long shot because they told me straight up that their endowment was affected by the financial crisis, but I cant help but want to hold out for my dream school. I also finally have an opportunity to take a gap year again.

I’m mentally and physically ready for this trip. I think I’m experiencing academic burn-out, and I really want to work on a long-term project, perhaps even several of them. I have all these hopes and dreams for my future, which might include the Peace Corps, so this is going to be the test year – let’s see if I actually, truly am committed to this travel/service/exchange lifestye.

I’ll update with more specific ideas and possibilities soon.

I am looking at two opportunities at the moment.
I sorely miss Ecuador and regret that I could not go to the Galapagos when I was in the country, so I found this organization called New Era Galapagos Foundation. Their mission is as follows: NEGF was also founded with the commitment to a more inclusive and therefore effective conservation that provides the necessary skills, knowledge, and awareness to the least well-known, but undoubtedly most important species in the Galapagos, humans. The New Era Galapagos Foundation operates year-round, and includes three trimesters (April-June, July-September, October-December) and a summer camp (February-March), offering programs that focus on issues of tourism and conservation within the community of San Cristobal and the Galapagos Islands. NEGF’s programs aim to raise public awareness of the value of biodiversity, get local people, primarily youth, involved in protecting their natural resources, and endow local residents with the skills and awareness for non-resource extractive employment in industries such as ecotourism, science, and conservation.

Looks good right?
The other thing that I am applying for is a volunteer grant. Travelocity has a grant called the Change Ambassador Grant, which is $5000 towards an international volunteer program. This grant would erase the expenses that I would occur even while independently volunteering, such as airfare, lodging and food. Finally, I must admit that volunteer programs are at least more convenient even if they are pretty commercial these days. I poked around Travelocity´s partners, and Cross-Cultural Solutions interests me the most. I am currently deciding between Morocco, Ghana and Thailand.

The last thing that I am considering is an internship with Blue Kitabu. Blue Kitabu is an educational NGO building and operating schools in Kenya and Ghana. My political science professor´s student started the NGO, so I have a good connection.

I´ll let you all know which ones I get accepted into and what I decide!

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