My name is Emily and I will be one of your 2 GGLs on our trip to Leon. Currently, I work as a 3rd grade teacher at Stratford Schools in SF. As the last couple of days of school drag on, I am anxiously awaiting meeting and traveling with all of you (only about 2 weeks to go)!

My first experience traveling out of the country, and away from my family, I traveled to Costa Rica with my high school biology club. The cliché of study abroad held true for me, as it changed my life and eventual career path. It is one of many reasons I applied to volunteer with GG this summer, and why I am elated to help provide a similar opportunity to all of you.

Since that high school trip, I have worked with a number of organizations and groups around the world. I was born and raised in New Jersey, where I attended and graduated from Rowan University. For the past year, I taught English to public high school students in rural Malaysia under a Fulbright Grant.  I have also volunteered on cruise ships with Autism on the Seas, worked in Hong Kong with the Center for Talented Youth, and have traveled individually to many of the countries in South East Asia.

I can’t wait to share my passions for travel, education, diversity, development, and culture exchange with all of you. This adventure is supposed to push you out of your comfort zone and bring new understandings about different communities, as well as your role in the world. If you’re feeling a little nervous right now, I assure you this is perfectly normal. I get butterflies for each new country and adventure ahead of me. As Jason said, a positive attitude will be your best tool as we all work together to have an unforgettable experience.

photo taken in Yangon, Myanmar

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch

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