Friday, November 22, 2013

There are some people you need to meet...

Let me introduce you to 22 of the smartest, funniest, most creative, interesting & caring group of people you'll ever met. These are the 22 participants I have the honor of joining on a 3-week exchange trip to Samoa ... I couldn't be luckier!

One of the most challenging things I've had to do in a while was to take part in the selection process of the AYLP - Samoa 2013 participants. We had around 80 applications for these 22 spots. We reviewed all 80 applications thoroughly, narrowed them down to about 40, and then we interviewed via Skype with those 40 candidates. The hours we spent on Skype with those 40 applicants was exhausting and some of the most fun I've ever had ... we heard amazing stories, saw incredible passion, witnessed nervous excitement, and laughed at the sheer energy they brought to the process. It was hard work, yet I truly had a blast. 

While the decision to select these 22 participants out of almost 80 applications was unbelievably tough, it's become clear that the selections we made were right on. This group came together from their hometowns all across the Western United States in August for an orientation to our Samoa experience. It immediately became clear that the hard work had paid off. These 22 participants are THEE right people for AYLP Samoa. 

The 5 adults (myself and 4 others) who are on the trip have the best job in the world: we get to share in the learning experience alongside these 22 amazing participants. These scholars, athletes, artists, comedians, musicians, book-worms, students, sons, daughters, and friends are going to make amazing travel partners for our 3 weeks in Samoa. 

Can't wait to see you guys soon - Manuia!

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