By Sarah Phillips

Twelve days might not seem like enough time to make a significant difference in someone’s life, but it certainly is at Global Youth Village. There is something unique about this place; a diverse mix of people, intensive workshops, activities, and sense of community that all piece together to create great things. From my own experience in 2013, I can definitely say that I learned a lot about the world and myself.

Four years ago, I was a curious 15-year-old who wanted to learn more about the world. I grew up in rural central Maine, an area that has a small population and little diversity. While at GYV, I met people from Iraq- a country I had only heard about on the news, teenagers with dual citizenship, and people from across America. My understanding of other cultures expanded, I learned how to speak up and initiate conversations with people different from me, learned about global issues, and became aware of the importance of leadership in today’s world.

Though not every day at GYV was easy, I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world. I returned home inspired, confident, and ready to play my role in making the world a better place. Coming to Global Youth Village has shaped who I am, how I approach life, and even what I am studying in university.