This fall, Tien Hoang, an 18-year old high school graduate from Seattle, WA, will start her freshman year at the University of Washington to study neuroscience and medicine. Tien credits her growing interest in the medical field to her recent experience in Guatemala, where she had the opportunity to work in a hospital through Global Visionaries.
Global Visionaries is an interactive youth-based leadership program that empowers Seattle-area high school students to define and address environmental and social justice issues in their communities, while deepening their cross-cultural understanding across borders. Talking Rain is proud to partner with Global Visionaries in their mission as they build up global leaders through education, community service projects, and cultural immersion trips.
During Tien’s two-week immersion to Guatemala, she volunteered at the Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro Hospital, assisting the nurses and providing care to patients.
“I’ve never had a volunteer experience like this one” says Tien. “My time at the hospital was one of the most emotional and life-changing experiences of the whole immersion. I had the chance to interact and connect with people who were not only from a different culture and country, but also differently abled than me. It gave me a sense of what some healthcare professionals do daily, as well as a little insight on what it’s like to work in a hospital.”
When away from the hospital, Tien spent time with her host family, learning more about the language and culture.
“I didn’t know any Spanish coming into this trip, so I was worried about making connections. However, as I got to San Miguel Escobar, I was able to make deep connections despite the language barrier. My host family was caring and took me in right away. They didn’t care that I couldn’t answer most of their questions. We were still able to laugh, play games, have dance parties, and relate to each other on a level other than words and language. I learned a lot about keeping an open-mind in a new culture and I was grateful for the friendly and welcoming people in San Miguel Escobar.”
Beyond Guatemala, Tien is grateful for Global Visionaries because the program has allowed her to build relationships with other students in the Seattle area and expand her understanding and interest in environmentalism and social justice issues.
“Global Visionaries has given me a place to not only deepen my knowledge on these issues, but also the communication tools to relay the knowledge I have to the other participants.”
About Global Visionaries
Global Visionaries is a multi-year youth leadership program with an emphasis on social justice and environmentalism. GV works with a deliberately diverse group of high school students from the Greater Seattle area.
Through experiential activities, workshops, retreats, community service, and a two-week cultural immersion to Guatemala, GV prepares Seattle-area high school students to define and address environmental and social justice issues in their communities while developing as leaders and becoming more aware of their global citizenship. To learn more about Global Visionaries, please visit globalvisionaries.org.