Name: Jamie Gothard
Type of Project: Education Abroad
1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.
My STEP Signature Project was a community development and service learning study abroad to the country of Honduras. Our group toured local agricultural sites and companies to give us a taste of agriculture in Central America. The bulk of our trip was spent assisting the communities with projects at their homes and schools including digging trenches for pipes and pouring concrete for sidewalks.
2. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.
My experience of traveling to Honduras definitely changed me as a person and made me really think about my decisions and how I live my life. I have traveled to other parts of the world in the past and my view of the world has completely changed from this trip because I got to see some of the poorest communities in the world and the struggles that they have to deal with every day. This education abroad opportunity has truly made me a better person and greatly influenced my perspective on my life and the rest of the world.
3. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.
We worked with and visited many different schools and communities, including the very poorest in Honduras. The people we met and had the pleasure of working with are who changed my viewpoint on everything. I heard the many stories of what the Hondurans have been through and experienced, which are things that most people should never have happen in their lives. The entire time I was abroad I could not help thinking how sorry I am for the struggles that these innocent people have to deal with every day and the things that they have to worry about, while I just take all the privileges in my life for granted instead of cherishing the little things in life that matter most, like what the Hondurans do.
4. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.
I think this change has made me a better person and encouraged myself to pursue my further dreams of community development here at home in my local town, but also abroad in the places that need it most. I want to travel and help people in need and use my skills and knowledge to influence people to do good in their lives and help others. This greatly relates to my future personal goals and plans because I want to have a career working with my local community in some sort of capacity through agriculture, along with I would like to continue traveling in my future to help the less fortunate all around the world.