This time last year, I remember getting so many friend requests from people who were then strangers, and are now some of my closest friends, Atlas Corps fellows. And that is when you have only experienced the tip of the iceberg of the Atlas Corps experience.
I arrived at Dulles airport not knowing what to expect from a year in the fellowship. Soon after I got to DC, I met the other Class 17 fellows, and then met some more Atlas Corps fellows during the Global Leadership Lab (GLL). I remember being in the room for GLL and realizing how diverse the group in the room was. I also remember realizing that I was clearly among the next generation of leaders in the room, each one of the fellows in the room had a passion to change the world for the better. Of course, that kind of passion is contagious and as one of the youngest fellows in the room, I was immediately inspired.
Of course, my year was filled with numerous public speaking opportunities, many professional development opportunities and was surrounded by an amazing team at my host organization. I definitely expected all of these opportunities as I anticipated the fellowship but didn’t expect to make the long lasting friendships I did. During my year in DC, I made friends whom I can joke about stupid videos on the Internet, but also debate about some important global issues. We can sit together having lunch and talk about the different ways our cultures have shaped us, or haven’t. We can sit under the sun having brunch on a Sunday with someone who started their own non-profit in their city. 2015 will no doubt, be one of the best years of my life.
With the satisfaction of an eventful and fulfilling year as an Atlas Corps fellow, I returned to Nepal last week. It is of course, different to be back. But with social media and so many messaging apps today, it is so easy to keep up with everyone. I am so excited to see what all of my fellow friends will do in their countries, and can’t wait till our paths cross again! So, farewell 2015, and cheers to 2016!