There are a handful of things in life that will reach across any schism, over any divide to unite people. Some are moments of extreme sorrow – tragedies like those the AmeriCorps works to reduce – some are moments of extreme delight; in this case, football. As I’ve stated before, I lived my whole life prior to AmeriCorps (excluding a few vacations) within the borders of Connecticut. One of the most compelling motives for my joining the program was the opportunity to travel and experience the cultures of all the places in the U.S. that I had never visited.
Less than one week from now Denver Colorado will be holding its first ever student Gap Year Fair at the Sherman Center downtown. High school & college students, parents, counselors and educators from up and down the Front Range will come to meet representatives from a variety of programs offering volunteer, internship, language study, international travel and exploration, leadership development, cross cultural learning and more! Click here to see list of gap year exhibitors.
Yes, working in Austin was rewarding… but it’s nothing compared to a week spent in Louisiana. My team, Water 5, is spending this next round working in Thibodaux, building houses with Habitat for Humanity. We live in a quaint little volunteer house – five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a refrigerator, oven, washer, dryer, and a new appreciation for one another’s personal space (or lack thereof) – that’s right on our worksite.
I began training with AmeriCorps NCCC in October and completed my first project during November and December. I’ve spent these past two weeks on a very enjoyable break from the program. I’ve seen some old friends, seen the family, revisited my high school haunts, had a general good time.
Holy cow! I can't believe I've been home in Nebraska for over a week now. It's hardly been enough time to even process the amazing experience that I had in the Philippines. We arrived in Manila after a very very long travel day out of my hometown, North Platte, Nebraska. It was really hard to leave my family again, but I knew that I was going to love Manila. Anyway, I ended up being hosted at Ateneo de Manila University… in the dorms. That was an experience! The girls whose room I shared had completely different hours than me so they were asleep when I woke up to leave and asleep when I came home after our busy days.
This video, discovered on You Tube was created by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Watch these interviews, and then imagine the difference you could make if you spent a gap year doing volunteer service right here in America!
Dynamy Internship Year in Worcester, MA is sponsoring a second year of gap year opportunities fairs around the US starting in January. Last year's fairs attracted hundreds of students and parents at several venues. In order to meet the public's growing interest in gap year options, the organizers are doubling the number of fairs for 2009! Click here to see profiles of last year's exhibitors. Entrance to the Gap Year Opportunities Fairs 2009 are free and open to the public. Exibitors can register by contacting the Fairs' sponsor, Dynamy Internship Year, Worcester, MA.
Click here to see video of students and parents being interviewed about gap year at the Denver Gap Year Fair last week.
Gap Year Fairs 2009 (updated 2.05.09) Bookmark this page, and return for updates!
Thinking Beyond Borders is a 35-week Gap Year program which takes students around the world to study the AIDS epidemic and public health in South Africa, public education in China, sustainable agriculture in India and clean water issues in Vietnam. Upon returning to the United States, students work with the United Nations, World Bank, IMF, Homeland Security, and the Grameen Foundation.
The following video was taken at the Pacific Northwest College Fair in Bothel, Washington in October. Increasingly, college fair organizers are inviting education experts like Ethan Knight, executive director of Carpe Diem International education, to speak to students and parents about the benefits of a gap year before college.
You can also view Mr. Knights power point presentation by visiting our You Tube channel at http://www.youtube.com/planetgapyear
A recent article in the Miami Herald titled "Economic Downturn Forces Students to Rethink College", by Andres Viglucci points to the fact that families and students are looking for cost saving options to start college. The author says more students are applying to less costly in-state schools vs. expensive out of stat, and more opting for community college.
Like many articles popping up lately on the Internet, the columnist points out that students are DEFERRING college entrance to work for a year. This development reinforces the trend that college admissions offices have been reporting even prior to the economic crisis, and which suggests more and more students will be planning 'gap years' now and in the future.