Despite receiving this message every other month, ‘awesome’ class 16, we’ve made it, we’ve survived!! So here’s to a year of being resourceful, creative, savvy, smarter and a year of growth! Here’s to each one of you who’s been part of Atlas Corps Class 16!!

This year may have come with challenges, but it also came with great experiences. Although we may have felt all sorts of things regarding our experience this year; beneficial or not, useful or not, tough or not, indifferent, etc, I believe that our lives have been enriched in one way or the other. One day we’ll look back and see how our experiences have helped shape our perception about life and about why we are passionate about living a life of purpose.

You guys have taught me to be bold, daring and unafraid. You have challenged me to be flexible and get out of my comfort zone every now and then. I’m glad to have been a part of such a dynamic team, with different personalities and characters, from very diverse backgrounds, and there are these differences that have made us a strong team. While we may all not be best of friends, each one of you has become a part of my life and I consider you my family. I feel like should I ever want to visit Italy, South Sudan, Chile, or Nepal, you’re the first people I’ll think of, and hopefully you’ll think of me should you ever visit Malawi. I have enjoyed laughing and having fun with you, I have appreciated how we’ve been there for each other, I’ve enjoyed learning together, arguing, challenging each other, and even competing with each other. In all these moments and experiences, we have built friendships, connections that I hope and believe will last. Some relationships are meant to be short term while others are for a life time, either way, I hope we’ll all recognize how each of the relationships we’ve built is invaluable to our personal growth and development.

We’ll be going separate ways to pursue different things, hopefully this year’s experience has or will help propel us to pursue our dreams with more passion. Be it good or bad experiences this year, I believe they all have been an opportunity for us to learn more about ourselves, about life, and an opportunity for us to grow personally and professionally.

Hopefully we have not lost ourselves or our identities along the way, but if we have, I hope we can rediscover ourselves and continue to pursue our life purpose. I know we each are passionate about making a difference in the world, I believe that that change begins with ourselves, with making a difference in our individual lives. Each one of us has the capacity to be and do better as individuals and as team players. Personally, this year has been about learning more about myself and how I can continue to grow. Someone once said, ‘everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to change themselves’, and I think if we want to change the world, we need to change ourselves first. So I hope that while we pursue to improve education or healthcare systems in the world, while we work to end child marriage or human trafficking, while we establish great businesses, become presidents and CEOs, raise families, etc, we’ll continue investing in our personal growth and development so we can continue to grow and be better leaders of our own lives and of the lives of those we’ll lead.

I believe you’ll all go on to continue leading successful lives, hopefully ones in which your bank accounts will never fall below minimum…but even if they do, you’ll still be able to live successful, meaningful and fulfilled lives!!

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