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The Gambian Art Coalition – Part 2

In the summer of 2019, I spent five and a half weeks in The Gambia, West Africa. Three of those weeks were spent studying politics and culture with 19 other Juniata students, and two and a half were spent working for the Gambian Art Coalition.

As a sophomore at Juniata I became the co-founder of the non-profit organization known as the Gambian Art Coalition. Exactly one year later, (as of November 18th, 2019), I am knee-deep in organizing sales and presentations, working with interns and business professionals, and coordinating buying trips and budgets. Being the co-founder and Director of Communications and Marketing of an international non-profit organization was not something I thought I would be doing while earning my undergraduate degree at Juniata College.

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Summer in January – My Short-Term Study Abroad Experience in Chile

The seasons are predictable. Winter turns to spring––usually slower than we hope. Spring then turns to summer, which turns to autumn and before we know it…winter comes again. This year, however, I broke this cycle. This year, summer came in January. Well, at least for me and 15 other Juniata students. This was no anomaly or freak incident of nature, but rather a short-term abroad trip to Chile.

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My Summer in Yorkshire

This summer I was excited to be the only Juniata student attending the Leeds International Summer School (LISS) at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Two planes, two trains, one bus, and a 10-minute Uber ride, and finally I was at Uni. During ice breakers (yes, they happen everywhere), I realized less than a tenth of the program consisted of Americans.

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Foreign Forever Memories

Last year, bored and antsy, I sat in the cafeteria reading the Juniata announcements. I read one informing students about a class still taking students. It was not a memorable day, but the information I learned led to me emailing a professor, joining a class, and getting an opportunity to learn in a life-changing way. There are some situations that you realize will be forever-memories even as you live them. I lived a forever memory this past May in a traditional kimono. Perhaps I should mention that my forever memory occurred in Kyoto, Japan all thanks to that Juniata class.

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The Gambian Art Coalition

I went into my sophomore year at Juniata with a full schedule. Three jobs, two internships, and a full load of credits. Never in a million years did I think I would have the time or the ability to co-found a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) as an undergrad.

The NGO I cofounded with two of my great friends, Evelyn McCammon and Sarah Borgardt, is called The Gambian Art Coalition. It was an idea brought to us by Professor Nagengast in the Politics department. He’s been travelling to The Gambia for the past 15 years and has made many great friends amongst the Gambians.

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