One of the most beautiful things of the Fellowship is crossing your way with amazing people from around the world. Fellows become a very important part of this adventure, sharing with you the good and the bad moments.
During my time in the United States I have had the chance to meet very special people who always have good advices and experiences to tell. In the first part of this blog, I would like to share one interview that I did to my friend Angela Betancur, Class 16, Colombia and in my next blog I will have a secret guest ;). I hope all of you enjoy this blog.
1. When and where did you serve during your Fellowship?
I served from September 2014 to February 2016 at the Latin American Youth Center in Washington DC.
2. What was your work in your host organization?
I was part of three programs: Healthy Relationships, Mental Health and Substance Use. There I was a Bilingual Mental Health Specialist.
3. What were your favorite things of being an Atlas Corps Fellow?
The cultural exchange with fellows from all over the world and having the possibility of working in the US context were the best parts. To me, being an Atlas Corps Fellow is a peace building and life changing experience.
4. What challenges did you have during the Fellowship?
I faced challenges related to the extreme weather, as I came from a Tropical country and missing my family and loved ones, however, it was a really rewarding experience, full of great moments.
5. What was your favorite moment of the Fellowship?
It is a really hard question. I can’t think about a specific moment, I had so many great memories. I think every day was different and special.
6. How are you going to use the skills and knowledge that you got in the Fellowship in your next step?
As a Social Worker, I have worked with youth and Women in Colombia, now my perspective about those populations is wider. After working with female and male youth from so many countries, I have got a big picture of their current situation in America as a whole continent.
7. Did you have cultural shock at the beginning of the Fellowship?
Well, I would not say it was a cultural shock, but yes, I missed my family, my loved ones and my food mainly.
8. Could you tell me, one thing that you regret you didn´t do in your Fellowship?
To be honest, I think I did all what I had planned, however, I wish I could have had more time to work with the youth in longer and specific projects.
9. Could you tell me, what was the most important lesson of the Fellowship?
As mentioned previously, I think it was a peace building experience, when I know about people with different values or customs than me, when I share with them and have a great time, I can see the other person as equal, with no fears, which is so important as some wars had started because of ignorance. On the other side, being an Atlas Corps fellow encouraged me to go ahead with my dreams and ideas about becoming an entrepreneur and start my own Non-Profit Organization in my country.
10. Which tips would you give to the new Fellows to be successful during the Fellowship?
Enjoy every day, every experience, every conversation, every season. Set realistic expectations and take advantage of everything, the nice experiences as well as the challenges, everything is a big lesson.
Angela thank you for sharing with us your perspective about your Fellowship, wish you the best in your next projects Amiga 🙂