May 25, 2017

So today was my first day participating in a Sail Caribbean program ever and I certainly had no idea what to expect. I think it took a total of two minutes before I knew I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. Every person I’ve encountered thus far has been so incredible, each in such a unique way. Each person brings something different to the table to make the most eclectic and yet full ensemble of knowledge, which has already in less than 24 hours provided such vast room for learning, improvement, and growth.

Not only am I shocked at how much I can learn from the people around me, but I truly am shocked at how quickly it took for me to feel at home and to feel as if I’m already surrounded by family. Everybody has been so understanding and so, so engaged and interested in any questions I have to ask or comments I have to make. Unfortunately, in life, it seems like people quite frequently engage so shallowly with other people, whether it be out of fear that they’ll appear silly or maybe even out of genuine indifference. This program could not be more opposite. The people that are in charge and even the people that merely participate in this program have created an atmosphere that I truly haven’t experienced in a similar way before. It makes it so easy to say, act, and feel anything that I’m experiencing in each respective moment, which honestly is a pretty rare but extremely liberating ability.

I guess a summary of what I’ve been trying to say would be that above everything else… above the beautiful scenery and environment that surrounds us here in the BVI… above the facts and academic knowledge that are taught as a main part and focus of the program, it has not taken me even a day to realize that the greatest thing I think I’ll take out of this experience will be everything I will have gained from being around truly magnificent people… people that model, through their actions and character, qualities that I could only ever hope to be able to emulate in the future. I have no doubt in  my mind that I will leave this program a better person than when I entered, which should honestly be one of the first questions people ask themselves when making truly any decisions in life.

I am so excited to see what the future holds for me here with Sail Caribbean and am beyond stoked to be a part of an organization that allows me to profoundly grow and become immensely closer to figuring out who exactly I want to become as a person and what exactly I need to do to attain it. Day one was definitely a major success 🙂

Julia M, age 19, Winter Springs, FL 

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