I have a picture of me standing just a few feet from here from exactly four years ago, when I visited Cal for an overnight preview weekend with the California Alumni Association. My face emits the same elation (and nerves, if you look into my eyes) in that photo as this one does. In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be joining that same alumni association. I couldn’t be more proud to be graduating from this humbling, inspiring and empowering institution.
From the depths of Main Stacks to Tokyo Tower, I’ve learned more than I could have anticipated here. Yet other things stayed remarkably the same. After hearing Adam’s dad come into our Spanish class my sophomore year at Quincy High School, I was inspired to apply my love of service and curiosity about engaging with other cultures to the Peace Corps. I immediately scoured their website for opportunities. To my disappointment, a college degree was a requirement for service. But I wouldn’t be deterred. I joined the Rotary Youth Exchange in Australia instead, and began counting down the days until my college graduation. My first semester at Cal, my lifelong best friendship with Mehek was cemented when she invited me to take the Peace Corps DeCal with her late Wednesday nights in Wurster Hall. Now I’m counting down to a new landmark in my life – 47 days before I begin a new chapter in my life. I will find a new home and serve my community as a Community Health Services Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador.
The universe works in funny ways, because when I arrive in Ecuador, that same role model – Adam’s dad, who first taught me what the Peace Corps was – will now be my boss! If you’d like to hear more about my experiences, follow my blog here.