September 8, 2019

USA Gap Year Fairs Student Ambassador Scholarship Awards

Our counselors at the Center for Interim Programs have been keynote speakers at the USA Gap Year Fairs since their inception in 2007. These fairs have done an extraordinary job of bringing together our gap year community of program providers, high schools, college counselors, and gap year experts so that we can help further educate families about this exciting path of life learning. 

In addition to their role in promoting the gap year on a national level, the USA Gap Year Fairs have also sought to support more students in taking gap years, and as one part of that mission, the "Student Ambassador Scholarship was established to recognize students who have demonstrated outstanding motivation and determination to pursue gap year experiences."

We at the Center for Interim Programs are proud supporters of one of the $2,000 scholarships, and pleased to extend our congratulations to this year's two recipients, Marcos and Rosalie, as well as excerpts from their inspiring application essays:

Marcos: I learned about the option of doing a post-high school gap year at your fall event in Northern Virginia last year.  At the time, the guidance counselors at my school were emphasizing going to college after graduation, and most of my classmates were already applying to colleges. I wasn’t sure what or where I wanted to study, though, or even if college was the right path for me.  After learning about numerous gap year program possibilities at your Fall Fair, I decided that this was a perfect option for me! My gap year program will include studying and doing an internship in Japan; doing volunteer work in Thailand; cultural immersion and travel in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand; and doing a leadership camp in Ireland and Scotland.  In addition to developing personally through these experiences, I am sure that what I learn and experience will contribute to my educational goals, personal connections, and to my future career choices and actions. This is because I don’t believe doing a gap year is limited to a one-time life experience.  Instead, I think it will be part of a life involving many opportunities to learn about other people, languages, and cultures, which will be reflected in my outlook, personal relationships, educational and career goals, and in my future accomplishments.

Rosalie: Although at first the idea of a gap year was just something I joked about during the stress of college applications, the idea never really went away. On January 23, 2019, I attended a USA Gap Year Fair at Southwest High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This fair assured me that if a gap year was something that I really wanted, then it could really happen. I am drawn to the opportunity of learning outside the classroom, seeing new places and new cultures, and exploring myself to find new passions and life direction.
Throughout my four years of high school, I was fully committed to my classroom learning. I am proud of my academic accomplishments and wouldn’t be surprised if one of the subjects I have studied in high school becomes a guiding discipline in my career. However, I understand that classroom learning cannot teach me everything. I am driven and excited to learn and gain life experience outside of a traditional academic setting. A gap year will be an opportunity for experiential learning that I have never had before. It will push me beyond my comfort zone, inspire from me self reflection, and, when the time comes, empower me to return to classroom learning with a refined perspective.
The college process brought periods of celebration and struggle. However, the times of struggle forced me to admit uncertainty. I got caught up in the idea of who I should be, the colleges I should go, the things I should do. A gap year will be a great time for me to reset myself. I want to use the year to dig deeper into my passions, to find intersections between them, and to explore new ones. I hope to find personal clarity before jumping into the college experience. 

Like Marcos and Rosalie, you can also pause the academic treadmill to evaluate your goals, gain skills, make new friends, build your confidence and independence, and have an unforgettable year of new and exciting experiences! Be sure to visit the USA Gap Year Fairs website to see if there will be a gap year fair near you this winter 2020, and/or to apply to The USA Gap Year Fairs Student Ambassador Scholarship

Our team is committed to continuing to support the USA Gap Year Fairs as both speakers and contributors to the scholarship fund. We are also ready to answer your questions at any time. We hope to see you at the fairs, and encourage you to sign-up for our Free 90-Minute Consultation with one of our expert counselors today!

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