Congratulations to our Share Your GRATITUDE Story contest winner, Aden McCracken! Aden traveled to the Yucatán in 2019, on CIEE’s High School Summer Abroad Language & Culture in Mexico program.
His gratitude was directed towards his friends, teachers, team leaders and host family because of the incredible impact they collectively had on his experience!
“Not only have I learned so much about the Yucatecan culture and Spanish, but I’ve learned so much about myself over these past four weeks. I was blessed with amiable, open-minded, and driven friends; an understanding, welcoming, and loving host family; and supportive, helpful, and passionate program leaders and teachers. Together, they have taught me how to step out of my comfort zone, to be more aware of others, to love, to inspire, to be kind, and to take advantage of what’s in front of me. I might have left Mérida, México being more unsure of what exactly I want to do in the future, but I left knowing that I want to help others and make a difference. I would like to thank you all for bringing me to this realization.”
We were impressed with his self-awareness and ability to seek out a support system that worked for him! Plus, we love that even while thanking these important people he was complimenting them!
“You all have the voice, power, compassion, and will to help make our world a better place. I can’t wait to see the amazing things all of you do for this world and the people that live here. 'In a gentle way, you can shake the world' ~Mahatma Ghandi."
These days we’re feeling gratitude for Aden; for his passion about his program, the people he met along the way, and the powerful impact that studying abroad can have on individuals!
"It’s said that the simple movement of a butterfly’s wing could cause a hurricane. But, I never would have thought the simple search of “study abroad programs” would have lead to a life-changing experience.”
And we couldn’t agree more! So thank you to everyone who took the time to share their story of Gratitude! We’re look forward to seeing your entries for this month’s theme – Great Leaps! Since it’s not that often we have 366 days to celebrate in a year, we figured we could use that time to reflect on all of the great leaps you took while studying abroad! Did you improve your language skills leaps and bounds? Was traveling to the other side of the world a leap of faith? Do you think studying abroad sent you leaping down a whole new life path? Submit your photos, videos and written pieces to Share Your Story before February 29th for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!