It’s been 24 years since my one and only visit to Israel.
It’s been 24 years since my one and only visit to Israel. At the time I was a recent college graduate searching for meaning beyond the corporate world that awaited me back home. Up to that point, I had lived my entire life safely within an Arizona bubble, never seeking adventure for fear of popping. But when I learned about Volunteers for Israel, I heard a calling of sorts. The three weeks I spent volunteering on an army base in the Golan and the three weeks I spent traveling the country literally changed my entire perspective on the world. For the first time, I was learning and engaging in religion, culture and history outside the classroom. I developed interpersonal communication skills that could never be honed in a COMM 100 course. My time in Israel was a crash course in learning how not to sweat the small stuff, understanding that if you miss one bus, there’s always another one on its way, and the all-important – stop making a mountain out of a molehill. I guess I could say that Israel taught me how to “chill”.
Well, what seems to be a lifetime later, I’m now in a position that helps young adults navigate the world of college admissions, and to discover the best environment where they can grasp the concept I call #firstworldproblem. I can’t think of a better place than Israel for teens to master the art of growing up and discover a sense of self beyond their secure Arizona walls. What better way is there for them to gain the most from a college education than to understand their role as a global citizen and leader? As of today, I can’t think of one.
So, this is why I am truly thankful to be a part of the Alexander Muss High School in Israel Seminar. I’m hoping to learn how students become self-aware and global-minded. I want to understand how the faculty and administration cultivate a learn-by-doing environment. Israel is a playground of sorts in history, politics and culture, and I want to discover how AMHSI incorporates this into the classroom. And most importantly, I would love more insight into the gap year program. With more and more high school seniors wisely contemplating a year off before starting college, I want to better understand the benefits of a gap year and be able to find wonderful program fits for them. Ultimately, why AMHSI? I can’t wait to find out!