Today marks the seventh consecutive year The KIVU Gap Students have climbed to the top of Africa on Mount Kilimanjaro. WHAT AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY!!
After several months living both domestically and abroad, the students took time out to experience one of the greatest climbs in the world. And believe me, this is no easy task.
We’d like to shout out to all our current and former KIVU Gap Year students and just say “We’re SUPER proud of you.”
Last night, I (Andy) had dinner with a new gap year family from Alabama. We met at a local restaurant to “Get to Know” each other, and answer some of the questions about Gap Year as well as what to expect on their student’s journey starting next fall.
There’s nothing quite like sitting down at a dinner table and learning about a new family and hearing all the reasons why they decided to defer their University acceptance for a year to go on this adventure called the KIVU Gap Year.
As we were talking about all the opportunities to engage in their 900 hour internships over the year, we outlined the family home stays in each country they visit, and gave a brief overview of the quantitative benefits of taking a gap year; the father quietly raised his hand and said, “Where was this when I was a kid?”
And if I’m honest, that’s the exact response I get each time I explain the details of what the KIVU Gap Year holds for students. Every single time, the conversation starts in this ambiguity of how a gap year can be beneficial for students before they head to college, and by the end of the talk, every single time, I get “Where was this when I was a kid?”
To be clear, the gap year concept is not for everyone. It’s difficult. It’s challenging. It pushes students to places they didn’t know existed. It forces students to look deep within their own core of understanding. It awakens a way of looking at the world through experience instead of simply memorizing about regions of the world and taking someone else’s opinion as fact.
But when we take inventory of how the world is spinning today, I can’t think of a better way to engage.
As you, or members of your community, prepare for next year’s academic calendar, I would just ask that you take a second and look at the benefits of a gap year. There are several different models out there, and for sure there are different price points; but the overall industry is exploding with benefit for students to explore the world and begin their own life long path into knowing who they are, what they’re gifted to do, and how they can make this world a better place.
“Where was this when I was a kid?”
I just smile and say, “Well it’s here now for yours.”