In 2005, I had the chance to study abroad in London, UK. It was significant to me for a few reasons. I had never traveled abroad and this trip was the impetus for me actually getting a passport. Also this experience was transformative because it was during this trip, while studying British Politics, the EU, and economics, that I decided to change my major in school to political science so that I could pursue my passion and interest in civics, engagement, policy, and political systems.
The trip will always be memorable to me, because my first trip abroad would also be influenced by the growing threat of terrorism. While I was in class on July 7, 2005, four bombs would explode across London on the trains and buses during rush hour, including at the train station and bus route closest to where I lived for the summer. Witnessing the fear and tragedy that accompanied that experience really clarified for me how policies and political decisions affect our lives and our security in really consequential ways. It was an event that heightened my interest in pursuing policy and my desire to only work on things that I felt would truly make a difference in our world.
Cory works in work in Silicon Valley in product optimization with the user's experience at the forefront of his work. Corey is also the founder and a blogger for Collected Young Minds, a site dedicated to giving a voice to millennials to think, discuss, and engage on issues that matter to them. Corey has been blogging for over five years, mostly inspired to write about politics, activism, and civic engagement, which gave birth to the idea for CYM.
Twitter: @spktruth2pwr; Facebook: ctponder; Instagram: @spktruth2pwr
By: Karl Golden, LFW Fellow
Just about a month ago I came back from a life changing trip.
When I first came back, everything pretty much felt the same. But as the days went on the changes started to sink in. I knew that my life would never be the same as it was before. Don't get me wrong I loved my life before the trip but now my mindset, choices, and perspective have shifted and grown . Before the trip I was not to sure what to expect; so I decided to go into this opportunity with an open mind. Pre-departure I was feeling stagnant and complacent in my current lifestyle. Everything was in order and going smoothly but nothing was really changing. I wanted to improve my life. Do you ever feel like your living life day to day with no bigger purpose? That's how I was feeling. I made the choice to step out of my comfort zone and leave the United States.
Going into Ghana, Africa I didn't know what to expect. After getting off the plane, I was in a state of relief that I finally made it. I thought to myself "Wow this is really what it's like". I see people waiting outside the airport, billboards everywhere, and heavy traffic. I was in the middle Ghana's capital city. We split into 2 cars and head towards the hotel. As we drive down the street we see shops, vendors, and people everywhere. We get to the hotel and settle in our rooms. The first eye opening experience was walking into a main part of town. As we are walking around town people start to approach us and strike up conversations. I talk with a few of the locals and get to know them a little better. They are extremely friendly and helpful. Each person brought different items to offer us. Some were selling paintings, bracelets, and sunglasses, others were selling food and drinks. One saying I specifically remember that was painted on the canvases was '"No food for lazy man". This saying really stuck with me and I even think of it now that I am back in the States. I could tell this saying was instilled in all of the locals because each person was an entrepreneur in their own way.
As a growing and developing entrepreneur myself I felt right at home and could relate to the people. It was hard not to support them, each of the people were looking to earn a living working for themselves. It wasn't by choice though, they had to survive. It gave me even more motivation. If I want to be a successful entrepreneur I have to change my perspective, I must work for myself to survive and not fall back on a 9-5 job to pay my bills and living expenses. When realizing this I felt a wave of relief come over me. I finally understood what it is going to take for me to truly become successful. I must hustle and grind like my survival depends on it. The experience of being in Ghana not only taught me this but showed it to me.
Look out for two more articles on more of my experiences in Ghana, Africa coming very soon! Also check out TheNewMovement.net for pictures and other inspiring articles!