Less than 3 days until I will be on a different continent.

Less than 3 days until I will be an ocean away from everyone and everywhere I know.

Less than 3 days until I embark on what may be one of the most life-changing experiences I have ever had.

In 3 days I will be traveling to The Gambia, a small country on the western coast of Africa, for a three week class trip through Juniata College. But unlike my 19 other classmates who will then return to the comfort of America, I will be staying an extra month. In that month, I will be working with Starfish International in what will likely turn out to be one of the most memorable summers of my life.

Starfish International is a non-profit organization that aims at providing additional education for Gambian girls, with the end goal of empowering these girls to become assets for their communities. It was founded by Yassin Sarr, who grew up in The Gambia but came to America for higher education. After eventually obtaining a Ph.d, she returned to Africa to start this organization. She believes that the best way to help Gambian society is through education.

My internship is tailored to what I am most passionate about. I am on the soccer team at Juniata, and three of my teammates are coming on the trip too. We will hopefully be running a soccer clinic for the girls before the class leaves, with supplies donated by both Juniata College Women’s Soccer and my Parkland High School coach, Al Haddad. I am majoring in psychology, so another important part of my internship will be working with the girls on coping skills. I don’t know exactly what I will be doing on a daily basis, but I’m super excited to see what lies ahead this summer.

I want to thank the Juniata Alumni for providing money for the Super Internship fund that made it possible for me to have this life-changing experience. Without their help, I would not have been able to do this internship.



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