To start the trip, we flew into Denver, Colorado, and then drove to Alamosa, a small town in the southwestern part of the state. We spent a week in Alamosa, working with an organization called La Puente. La Puente works with issues of rural homelessness and poverty. The people I met during my week at La Puente have honestly changed my life. After speaking with the director of the childrens’ program about his work, I realized that I want to have a career in non-profit management and help fight the issues that the neglected and abused children he works with face in their day-to-day lives. Every day, the Fordham students had lunch and dinner with the homeless and working poor of Alamosa, talking about their lives, and our college experiences. The level of interest and care they had about our lives was so moving, making it an experience I’ll never forget.
After our week in Alamosa, we traveled to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana, where we spent several days learning about the culture of the tribe, and the social issues that it faces today. The coolest part of our time on the reservation was that we got to sleep in a real, authentic teepee, effectively living out all of our childhood dreams.
I would say that Global Outreach is one of the most unique aspects of Fordham. Sure, other schools may have service and immersion trips, but few of them emphasize building a community among those on the trip quite so much as Fordham does. In the end, the experience was so much better because of the support that I had from my team. I think our favorite song (“Gone, Gone, Gone” by Phillip Phillips) from the trip sums up our feelings about each other and the experience: “I’ll love you long after you’re gone, gone, gone.” GO! West was the best experience of my life, let GO! be the best experience of yours!