These past 8 months have transformed me in more ways than I can put into words. 2011 was a life-changing year and it seems as if it only set the momentum for 2012! The new year has already begun to take its effect and I’m happy to report that the personal growth continues because as uncertain as the future may seem, we can always be sure that change is waiting at the cusp of every decision. We must welcome this change, embrace its effects, and use what we learn to foster positivity in our environment.
I have finally realized that no matter what environment I am in, I find myself learning the most from the people working alongside me- specifically, the youth. Working with MLAB this January was truly a blessing. As much as I wanted to successfully fulfill my role as an MLAB Mentor, I am convinced that my mentees ended up teaching me more than I could possibly teach them. These students were incredible.
For example, these students managed to provide guest speakers with questions so challenging and filled with such technical language that there were times where I still had trouble understanding when translated into English. In addition, the only thing more impressive than their current intellectual level was their drive to continuously reach higher. You would see them often studying away on our break time, looking up new English vocabulary, asking for help with pronunciation- MLAB really was an exceptional group. And not only were they incredibly intelligent, they knew how to have fun too! I remember how heated our MarioKart races would get and I can’t believe how many times Baby Peach would come from behind with a red shell to take my place at the top (I want a rematch, Barbara!).
The MLAB family provided unforgettable memories and a renewed determination to keep working as hard as I can and to give back as much as I can along the way to my full potential. These students’ ambition fueled my own and their humility and respect for each other reminded me that no one person’s goals are completely separate from those of others. The connection we formed will stay with me forever and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish.
Immediately following MLAB, I had the honor of working alongside Former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, in implementing a model to help local students in Guanajuato strive for higher education. This experience and what came thereafter, I believe, changed me the most out of my entire 8-month journey. Perhaps it was the way I was able to utilize my journey’s lessons in Guanajuato and how everything seemed to come full circle for me like never before.
After seeing parts of the world I never thought I’d ever see, I found myself coming back to the country of my family and my ancestors and discovering parallels between each community I had visited as well as the triumphs and struggles that come with them. These parallels became all too real very shortly after arriving.
As much as I want to elaborate now, I want to wait until I can actually show you my experience. I recorded several reflections as they happened and am looking forward to when I can piece them together in a way that provides an accurate look into my experience. Until then, please listen to the words of my friend for he is a very wise and humble man.
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