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In search of a calling

Here’s my latest article from the Madison Park Times:

At 18, Lauren Honican wants a career in the medical field, but she has yet to determine her specialty.

So, instead of going straight to college after high school, the 2010 Garfield High School graduate and former Madison Park resident is taking a gap year to travel abroad in hopes of discovering her passion.

Service learning
Beginning in September, Honican will be one of 16 students from around the country traveling with Thinking Beyond Borders (TBB), an eight-month international gap-year program. The students will travel with three program leaders and learn about the international community through homestays (living with local families) and service learning. They will stay in four core countries for five weeks each and work with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or nonprofit groups.

They will also be assigned university-level readings that tie in with their service learning.

Following each core country stay is an Enrichment Week, during which the group has the opportunity to explore historical and cultural sites in the region.


The eight-month program, which ends in May 2011 with a five- to six-week unit held stateside, urges students to ask and discover how they can create meaningful change in the world.

It is this opportunity to be an agent of change that drew Honican to TBB when she discovered it at a gap-year fair at The Northwest School in Seattle. The more she learned about TBB, the more she wanted to be a part of it.

“I just fell in love with the program,” she said.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

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