By: Emily Colfer, STP Program Coordinator, with Camila, GEC Alumni

When Camila left Camp in August of 2015, she felt different than when she’d arrived: more open-minded, connected with others from around the world, and motivated to make a difference. She knew she would have fun at Camp, “But what I didn’t know,” she said, “[was] that 3 weeks could completely change the way you look at your life and the world in general.” She expressed to us that the most important lessons she learned at Camp were to live her life outside of her comfort zone, and to take every opportunity presented to her.

“[These lessons have] been with me for the past year, and helped me decide the kind of college I wanted to get into,” Camila said. While preparing for her graduation from high school, Camila was approached by her school and asked to give a speech in English in front of the entire congregation during commencement. The practice and instruction she’d had at Camp gave her the courage to stand in front of her peers and confidently deliver her speech. Today, Camila studies law at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and is contemplating a focus in either human rights or international law. Her decision, she says, was partially driven by the values she learned from Camp. “You have to be a person who believes in peace, in cultural understanding,” she said. “The only way to do this is to have an open mind and have the opportunity to try new things, and to learn about things you don’t know and to constantly be with people who aren’t from your country or culture.”

Camila’s attitude about the world and her drive to make it better will enable her to become a fierce and formidable global leader– she’s already on her way! She has truly become an agent of change, and there is no doubt that she will do great things for her community, her country and the larger global community.

Have you participated in a CCI Greenheart program and are ready to share your life-after-program story? Email Emily Colfer at ecolfer@greenheart.org!