To all of you that attended the GB SLC 2013, welcome back home! For most of you, that is back to your university, getting ready for another academic year as one of the top student leaders on campus. For some of you, maybe you have a few more travels planned before you finally settle down for class (for UT Austin, maybe 25 hours of driving. Road trip!) For our advisors, off to Nicaragua! (we send you our best wishes and all of our emails of course). Wherever you are now, welcome there, and thank you for being a part of the largest ever GB Student Leadership Conference. What an incredible way to kick off this year!
For me, the “welcome home” following the SLC is a bit more uncertain. During the conference, many of you asked me “So, what are your plans now?” Great question. The truth is that these next few months are an intentional break from work, a step into “unemployment,” during which I hope to have the time to finally reflect on the last 5 years of work with GB. After so much time abroad, living and breathing Global Brigades, it is difficult to picture myself doing anything else. I imagine some of you feel similarly, thinking “What will I do after GB? What will I do after I graduate and am no longer involved? Or, how can I stay involved post-graduation?”
For me, your questions and the ones I am asking are the same. The ultimate question is “How can we take what we have done in Global Brigades and apply it to the rest of our lives?” And even more specifically, “how can we bring the lessons from the work we do abroad back home to the U.S. to create positive social change here?”
These are the questions on my mind right now, and the ones I plan to contemplate over the next few months before deciding “What’s Next?” This blog will explore these questions, and I invite you all to join along. I also hope that you will provide some of your own ideas as we all work to understand our role in local and global development.
Thanks again for being incredible leaders and for re-inspiring me to work for social change here in the U.S. Let’s continue the conversation over the next few months, and of course let’s all keep living with passion, clarity and direction!