Monday, April 20, 2015

My GO! Experience

Earlier this semester, I interviewed for the opportunity to be on one of Fordham’s popular Global Outreach projects. I applied to GO! Navajo, New Orleans, and Alaska. Fortunately, I received my top project choice, and I am preparing with an incredible team to experience Bethel, Alaska from May 18th to the 28th.

The bear shirts we sold as a fundraiser in the Alaskan flag colors!
Global Outreach is a program at Fordham that allows students to travel to places they have likely never experienced on a cultural immersion and service trip. Students learn about problems pertaining to the specific area of their project including social justice, environmental, political, and economic issues. Each team consists of 10-15 students, and travel during either winter, spring, or summer break. Every project is unique in duration, focus, and dynamic, but GO! emphasizes its four pillars to provide the most meaningful experience possible; these include community, simple living, spirituality, and social justice. Now that you have a little background on GO! let me tell you about my own experience thus far.

My GO! team at GO! Olympics!
I am participating in the GO! Alaska project, which is one of the summer domestic trips. I have a team of 12 members, including my team leader and chaperone, none of whom I knew before accepting the project. Over the course of the semester, we have had meetings, outings, and other events that have allowed us to become a tight-knit community. These are people I likely never would have met if I had not participated in GO!, but now they are people that I can trust, grow from, and almost call my family. Between fundraisers, Campus Movie Fest, our team retreat, gym sessions, and Chipotle runs, we have bonded so much, and there is no one else I would rather venture into unknown territory with.

We are all so excited for our upcoming project. We have not only spent the semester getting to know each other, but we have also done a lot of research on Bethel and its social issues as well. Because in GO! the motto is "participate, don't anticipate," the team (besides the leader and chaperone) does not know what our activities and responsibilities will consist of when we are there. We, however, have each other to rely on and work with, and with open-minds, I think we will all really gain a lot from our experience in Alaska. 

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