What if… | The Speedwell Foundation and AFS-USA

What if…  | The Speedwell Foundation and AFS-USA

Hi, my name is Kendra Valerio Kristen Miller Caleb Darkes-Burkey Amy Trauffer Emma Sutterlin Greg Costanzo Grace Fabean Andrea Snyder Reed Pawling I went to Argentina in 2012-13 I went to Italy Germany China Netherlands France Thailand [speaking Chinese] I did a lot of cool things,
my host family was amazing. Just using the language
regularly down there opens up your doors to
what you’re capable of doing. [speaking Italian] I learned a lot about myself,
and I learned a lot about the world and the people
around me. I started to make new friends, I started really learning
the language, and I really got myself
immersed in the culture. [speaking French] Everything I do now in life comes from studying
abroad in Germany. I’m studying chemical
engineering and Spanish. I’m planning to use
that somewhere… hopefully I’ll be able to travel, somewhere international
hopefully. Wherever they need
engineers who speak Spanish I’m on track to hopefully
go to law school, to become a politician. In September I’ll be going off
to Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland for the
next four years to study Russian and
Middle Eastern Studies. This experience has
opened up the door to what I love to do,
which is reach out to other cultures and just learn
to understand people. You both made it possible
for me to be able to go abroad to the year that honestly has shaped
every single year since. Because of this year abroad,
it’s shaped my entire direction, both academics, career-wise,
just myself as a person, and I will forever, forever be
grateful for you guys. Without Jenny and
Mike Messner, I wouldn’t be able to
graduate in three years, nor would I be trilingual,
nor would I be a double major, and nor would I have
two families across the planet that love and care for me, and that I always know that
I have a home wherever I go. Thank you so much
for your generosity, both financially
but also as friends who come along and,
you know, [host] picnics like this
where we can see you and see all the impact that
you’ve created in the community. You have single-handedly
changed my life for the better. I don’t know where I would be
if it wasn’t for you. So I really cannot
thank you enough. I appreciate it, my whole family
appreciates it, and everyone here who you’ve
helped in the last 10 years, appreciates it more than
you can possibly know.

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