Gabriela Morales, a graduate of Summit Rainier High School in San Jose, California, traveled to Riobamba, Ecuador with Global Glimpse in 2019. In this week’s FIRST story, Gaby shares her powerful experience of her FIRST time feeling truly seen.

“When I first heard about Global Glimpse, I was a freshman in high school and it was actually my older brother who was a senior at the time who told me about the program. I immediately knew I needed to join Global Glimpse when I was a junior. Fast forward three years, I applied for the program but with some hesitation about the cost and questioned if I’d be able to join. However, thanks to the scholarship, I was able to join Global Glimpse and the program was nothing as I expected!

As part of my Global Glimpse journey, I traveled to Riobamba, Ecuador in the summer of 2019. When I reflect back on my trip, my mind immediately goes to two big takeaways. The first takeaway from my experience was the realization that I was capable of building a connection with a country and community that I never expected to. 

Through all the learning we did about the community in Riobamba, the indeginous groups, their heritage and traditions, it feels like Riobamba is my second community away from home. I never expected to feel this way about a country and community apart from my own. I realized through this experience how beautiful and strong human connection can be if we are willing to learn, grow, and step out of our comfort zone.

Speaking of stepping outside of comfort zones, my second and biggest takeaway from my Global Glimpse journey is a story about how I found my voice and felt truly seen for the first time. During our 2 week trip, students were assigned “Leader of the Day” for each day of the trip. At the end of each day, we gathered to discuss and debrief our learnings from our day. These spaces and conversations were student led and really pushed us to step up in a way that many of us hadn’t before. These spaces really pushed me to step up in ways I hadn’t before and in ways I never imagined I would. 


It was through being “Leader of the Day” and through the different daily conversations with my peers that I truly found my voice and felt truly seen and heard by others! In these spaces, I was able to open up, connect with my peers, and come to the realization that my voice matters. My peers and the trip leaders helped me understand that my voice and perspective carried weight and regardless of the differences in our backgrounds, my peers could relate to what I was saying.

Instead of clapping, we snap at Global Glimpse and I will always carry with me how beautiful it felt to get snaps and how heartwarming it was. I have carried that feeling with me since returning and have continued to push myself outside of my comfort zone. Since my trip, I have grown as a person and I find myself trying challenging things I wouldn’t have before. I find myself feeling comfortable constantly learning and growing from new experiences now. I have my peers and the Global Glimpse leaders to thank for that!”

We all know how powerful it can be to feel truly seen and heard by our peers. For so many of our students, their Global Glimpse journey is the FIRST time they experience that powerful feeling.


This holiday season, we have launched The Takeoff!, a monthly giving program designed to bring together a group of committed monthly supporters who believe in empowering our next generation of leaders through the Global Glimpse program. If you have not already given to Global Glimpse this season or if you would like to become a monthly giver, we ask you to consider joining our monthly giving program. 


Members of The Takeoff! will be informed of program updates, invited to join student events, engaged through volunteer opportunities, and more. Consider joining today!