After a year and a half of pandemic restrictions, I’m taking a gap year to have the time to tour the top art schools that I have been interested in attending since I was in preschool, and see as much of the world as I can.
I graduate this month (June) from Aspen High School in Colorado and plan to attend college – but not just yet.
First I’ll head to Karatu, Tanzania, to volunteer this summer at Maasai Girls Rescue Center (MGRC), a nonprofit that cares for about 50 girls. I learned about the Center through family friend Daniel Martineau, who used to live in Aspen and serves on the MGRC board.
The contrasts between the Aspen community and the Maasai tribe are dramatic. Two-thirds of the population in Tanzania lives in poverty. Girls are most at risk, the last in line. Many don’t go to school and are married off early to much older men.
The girls who come to the Center need food, shelter and healthcare. They also need role models to teach them about the greater opportunities out there in the world. I have always loved kids. If I can make a difference in any way, it would be a gift to me.
I will bring my travel guitar to share music with the girls as well as art supplies so we can create together. In school I played jazz trumpet and enjoyed sports, too, like volleyball and basketball, and snowboarding.
I want to share my life experiences from a Western culture and inspire the girls as best I can. But I know they will inspire me way more!