Gap Year Success Stories

This week I wanted to share with you a round of of some truly amazing stories of Gap Year students doing wonderful things.

Let’s start with…

Maggie Doyne Who Built a Family in Nepal

Would you believe that a 19 year old with a backpack can change the world? Here’s an excerpt of her story, be sure to click through and read the whole thing… it’s inspiring!

“Taking a gap year was a big deal. My guidance counselor told me that I was making one of the biggest mistakes of my life by deferring college. There were definitely people who were questioning my journey. But there were also a lot of people, especially women, who were saying, “Go for it! Go girl! That’s my dream. I would have loved to do something like that.” I tried to surround myself with people who believed in me.

Also I had this innocence, thinking, “I can do anything. If I want to make this happen, I can do it. Look.” I absolutely think that it would not have happened if I were older because I think as we get older, we have more responsibility and we lose that childlike dreaming, that ambition, that feeling that we can do anything. With my spirit of youth, I thought, “I don’t like orphanages. I’m going to build my own children’s home. Whoa! Take that.”

Also because I didn’t go to college, I didn’t have college debt or the pressure to get a job right away because I didn’t have a degree that I sold my soul for. My youth gave me a great freedom. The worst that could happen is that it wouldn’t work.

I’ve noticed that there’s so much fear around doing things that are off that beaten track. I’ve learned is that education doesn’t need to fit into a box, as “that diploma” or “that degree.” For me, the best learning has always been experiential, finding mentors and reading books that teach me something new. I’ve learned so much setting up this non-profit.

I’ve learned that education isn’t always how we define it as a society and as a culture. It’s been 10 years of learning and I just got an honorary Ph.D. from St. Bonaventure University. I always promised my mom throughout this whole process that I would go back. “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll go back to college, maybe next year. Don’t worry. I’ll get a college degree. I’ll do it.” I got that degree.” READ MORE ON FORBES

Emma Jacobs: Working on a Kibbutz in the Israeli Desert

This gal has traded the comfort of her London home for living in a mud dome and manning a shovel as an experiment in creating a self sustaining ecological village. Who says today’s young people are entitled?:

“For my generation, rising global temperatures are the norm and a clear threat to our future. It doesn’t help that the US now has a president-elect who claims that climate change is a “Chinese hoax”. So it is important that we explore alternative, sustainable ways to live. That’s why I’m spending my gap year learning how to farm in the desert and recycle poo.” READ MORE ON THE GUARDIAN

In the Planning Stage? 5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Gap Year

“More and more young people are considering taking a “gap year.” It can be a chance to make some extra money, gain experience and learn more about yourself before you make a big decision, like committing to college or a career.

No matter the reason, there are loads of great opportunities out there to use a gap year wisely. Here are 5 ways to make the most of your time off.” READ MORE ON CNBC

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