By Stefan Nesic, 2013 Youth Ambassador
New York: All of this appears familiar, but this is the first time that some of us see New York City through our own lenses. The skyskrapers cast immense shadows, and light squeezes through the narrow streets. The speeding cars carry a cool breeze as we are squished through crowds of people. This is when we realize the sheer size of the city and embrace the city life.
On the other hand, Plattsburgh’s small town charm is revitalizing in people like me, a self-proclaimed ‘city boy.’ When people ask me whether I’m home-sick, I honestly reply ‘host-home-sick.’ The people we met in Plattsburgh, our temporary homes, and the university will not easily be forgotten.
The most relaxing experience during the entire day was sitting in Liberty Island and admiring the beauty of arguably the greatest symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty. The pools surrounded by the names of victims of 9/11 at the 9/11 Memorial were emotionally and visually powerful.
This entire exchange has been unimaginable and completely memorable thanks to Dr. Kirkey’s careful planning, the program coordinators’ hard work, the adult mentors’ balance of fun and work, and all the participants including speakers and host families.
We visited numerous memorials and reviewed our follow-on-in projects. I still firmly believe that the best part of the program will be when we see every fellow youth ambassador succesful in implementing their project-their passion.
We have learned some things that cannot be taught in school. We have been trained in helping out the community which driven by our enthusiasm will surely make an important impact. On top of all of that, the experience has been so much fun. The restaurants, the hotels, the museums, the speakers- shall I say more?
Without a doubt the best program, exchange, and trip I have ever experienced! Tomorrow, most of us will head home and some of us will wait another day, but one thing’s for sure, the connections between everyone will never disappear.