Life Changing Experience
On Developing Leadership Skills
The most striking thing I learned was how to lead effectively. On my program, each GLA student was required to lead the entire group for one whole day. During the program, I realized that a leader must have deep convictions of his goals, be clear about what needs to be achieved, find the strength of each individual, and capitalize on that strength.
On Opening My Eyes to New Possibilities
GLA has inspired me to see the world in a more loving and open way. It introduced me to new cultures and people that have impressed me in the most wonderful ways. I experienced the raw soul and the real people of Tanzania, not the tourist or city life. I learned to appreciate the details in life more and to really pursue the things I want in life.
On Unlocking My Passions
My GLA experience in Ghana was the most memorable three weeks of my life so far, and I continue to tell my friends and family that I wish I could have remained there for the entire summer. Volunteering at the Keta hospital allowed me to learn hands-on about healthcare management. I was able to see how healthcare was provided to patients in a rural context. The few hours I spent at the hospital reconfirmed my interest in healthcare, and I’ve decided to study international health, humanitarian relief and development in university.
On Learning About My Role in the World
Stanford UniversityLewis Palmer High SchoolHometown: Monument, CO
GLA was an eye-opening experience, both in seeing a new part of the world and gaining perspective on issues that cross societal boundaries. The people I met at GLA – the children, the grassroots leaders, and our fantastic program director and mentors – have hugely inspired me to continue to act as a global citizen throughout college and my future career.
On Uncovering New Career Options
UC San DiegoSaratoga High SchoolHometown: Saratoga, CA
GLA instilled in me a passion for international relations because it gave me the unique opportunity to look beyond words, photographs, and statistics and truly experience first-hand the workings of another culture. The community service and immersion into the village really pushed me to embrace the Spanish language and mold a global leader out of me. In college, I’m majoring in International Relations and Economics and hope to pursue a career in international corporate law.
On Helping Me Appreciate What I Have
I learned to appreciate the things I once took for granted. GLA opened my eyes as to what really matters. Seeing the poverty-stricken families struck a cord in me because they worry about problems that don’t even come up in the minds of American teenagers. The question of how am I going to feed my children or where am I going to sleep tonight is always asked by families in Asia which is why I came to realize many of my problems are insignificant compared to those of these families.
On Improving the Lives of Those
Kevin and Sara V.
Each summer that we did GLA, our experiences were some of the most memorable times in our lives. Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica were all awesome. We did not know anyone else going into the programs, but we ended up making so many great friendships. The trips themselves are great, but it is so gratifying to be able to give back to countries in need throughout all of our volunteer work.
On Influencing College Applications
Harvard UniversityChoate Rosemary
Hall High SchoolHometown: Singapore
What GLA did for me is show me the world in its most raw form and at the very same time, give me hope that I might play a role in giving these communities a brighter future. In the face of despair, I saw the smiles of children. It showed me poverty at a level that was very extreme and I had not seen that before. My reflections on what I experienced and learnt during GLA played a key part in two of my college essays and I talked about it extensively in the interviews.