GYV Staff/ Participant during: 2006-2009
Education: junior at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania
Occupation: food vendor
Most Interesting Country Visited: Germany
Favorite GYV Memory: There were enough of them to keep me coming back for four years… As I had never left America, going to camp is the closest I’ve been to traveling the word. What kept bringing me back was the wide range of interesting people GYV managed to pull in year after year and the resulting exposure to perspectives I otherwise might never have considered. The memories that stand out most distinctly in my mind are the two Iraqi-American sessions I attended. They brought the war much closer to home for me, and helped me understand the lives of those who actually lived in the country that mine had invaded to a much deeper extent than I could ever gain from TV, newspapers, or the Internet. Personal stories are much more powerful.
Volunteer/Civic Engagement since Global Youth Village: My parents run a homeless shelter in Norfolk, Virginia. Helping out there has always been a major part of my life. We constantly have many guests staying with us, serve breakfast on the streets three mornings a week, and regularly deliver food to the poor. This background certainly helped the long-held attraction I’ve had for GYV, which in turn helped me further appreciate my parents’ work.
Biography: I’ve lived my entire life in Norfolk, the first ten years in the aforementioned shelter (called the Norfolk Catholic Worker,) the next ten three blocks away. My family is still goes to the shelter everyday, and we even have guests stay at our new home from time to time. Along with working for the poor, my parents are life-long peace activists. My dad has been to jail a number of times for protesting war and militarism. He is currently incarcerated for trespassing on the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which houses an arsenal of nuclear weapons. As for myself, I went to public school for 12 years and spent a great deal of my free time both writing music and performing with a rock band I helped start at age 13. Music has been a significant part of my life since childhood, when I first learned to play piano and discovered The Beatles. I am currently in studying abroad in Germany… enjoying my junior year at Swarthmore… studying political science and playing rugby.