This summer, six British Columbia secondary school students returned from a three-week trip of a lifetime as part of the Youth Ambassador Program.
Tianna Nand was one of the six students selected to head south. Nand, a Grade 12 student from Churchill Secondary, says it was a phenomenal experience that got her thinking about global and local issues and introduced her to some terrific new friends from across North America.
"It was really a life changing experience that is hard to put into words," says Nand. "It is a real soul searching experience. You learn how things are so much bigger than you and that there is a huge world out there and there are so many opportunities."
Organized by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the youth involved flew first to Los Angeles where they met with American and Mexican students and then later travelled to Washington DC for a whirlwind tour of Capitol Hill.
During the trip, the teens got a chance to do team building workshops, volunteer work (which included picking up garbage along an interstate highway) and had plenty of time to think about and discuss both global and local problems and explore how often they are interconnected.
In addition to the hard work of forging ties with the US and Mexico, Nand says the group also got an opportunity to drop by Disneyland and a Washington Nationals baseball game.