“In every place, no matter how far from home, I’ve made great friends, all of whom I already miss. I have learned something valuable from each of my students and colleagues, and I’m really, really grateful to have been able to share my journey.”
Brady engaged with social and environmental issues on four different continents during his gap year. He worked in Thailand, Madagascar, Spain, Peru, and Bolivia. Brady assisted doctors in rural clinics and taught English to monks. These opportunities deepened his understanding of the medical and educational fields.
Brady arrived at UNC as a first-year a year older than most of his peers, fresh out of high school. Brady felt different. He’d just been around the world.
He immersed himself in global academic interests with plans to double major in Comparative Literature and Anthropology, with a minor in History. During his first year at Carolina, he became an IRB – reviewed oral history researcher, and he conducted anthropological research. His exemplary scholarship was given the UNC-CH Undergraduate Diversity Award, which recognizes significant contribution to the enhancement, support and/or furtherance of diversity on the campus and in the community.
Brady returned from his Fellowship year with a pressing interest in understanding identity within cultural context, so he obtained a grant from Carolina’s Center for Global Initiatives (CGI) to found a learning circle with a focus on LGBTQ culture around the world.
Working and interacting across cultural and linguistic barriers has strengthened his social skills, he says. He’s better at relating to people at home. Having taken on the perspectives of people around the world, he might also be more emotionally intelligent an attribute he considers important in building meaningful relationships with peers.
Brady became a founding partner and eventual Co-President of the Campus Y Global Circle, an organization that facilitates discussion about international volunteering and the ethics of service through workshops and a speaker series.
Towards the end of his freshman year, Brady won the Kenan-Biddle Partnership Award for the 2015 calendar year and used those funds to co-found the Duke-Carolina Global Leadership Institute (GLI).
The GLI fosters student reflection and critical thinking in the fields of international service and global citizenship through exit and re-entry retreats and a collaborative blogging project.
Did we mention that Brady was a Robertson Scholar? According to him, the gap year was critical in helping him become one.
Looking forward, Brady is glad to predict that the Global Gap Year Fellowship will continue to follow him through UNC and beyond.