By Juman Kekhia
B.A. in International Affairs and Dance, Minor in Sociocultural Anthropology
When I look back and think about why I initially applied to Teach For America (TFA), a flurry of things come to my mind. It starts with my love of helping others, even if it’s just a single person, and it ends with believing that education is the most powerful tool there is. As much as I like to say that I’m not a planner and I go with the flow, I find myself planning out big life choices far in advance. When I was filling out my application and going through the interview process a year ago, around this time, it didn’t feel nearly as real as it does now. Funny how time can change things.
Despite having a random assortment of involvements and very few internships during my time at GW, I can see all the skills I’ve developed over the past four years and how they’re all coming together to form my next experience. I’m excited to have the opportunity to grow and learn while also knowing that situations in which a leader is needed, I have the skills to step up to the plate. TFA is providing me with the opportunity to continue to grow and learn more about what I want to do in the world.
I know a lot of people see the program as a “gap year” or “time killer”, but I think it’s quite the opposite. The same way GW has done a lot to influence who I am, I imagine my experience in Chicago and with Teach For America will influence who I become. If you ask me today if I plan on being a teacher forever, I’ll probably say no, but who knows what that answer might be in two years. While I might have planned far ahead and have known what I’m doing next year for a while, the opportunities ahead are largely unknown and that is what I think is most exciting about all of it.
Who knows where I will be in ten or twenty years? What I do know is that I want to help at least one kid realize their potential through education and empower them to become whomever they would like to be. The future is a little unclear, but I’m excited to find out where it will lead me!