The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow, Ayanna Philips.

As I approach the final months of my gap year, I reflect upon the experiences that have made me grow solely as an individual during this time. It has brought me great joy to have the opportunity to travel, try new endeavors, meet new people, and provide services across organizations. Currently, I volunteer at a low-cost clinic that predominantly caters to the Hispanic community. Due to not speaking Spanish, it can be quite difficult to understand and communicate with patients. However, the majority of the volunteers and employees speak Spanish so I do have help and I’ve been teaching myself in my free time.

Additionally, I also volunteer at an elementary school where I tutor a first and second grader which I enjoy as well. As I’ve volunteered, I’ve become more confident in my decisions and certain of my abilities with my goals in mind: personal growth, expansion upon my cultural horizon, building connections, and more.
Despite some obstacles, I am still glad I decided to pursue UNC’s Global Gap Year Fellowship. I definitely needed a break after a strenuous and tough school year; therefore, this was very much needed and appreciated. I will take what I’ve learned and apply it to my life experiences as I grow into an adult. Nevertheless, I hope that once I arrive at Chapel Hill, I will continue to expand upon these goals as I transition into the life of a UNC student.

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
— Eleanor Roosevelt