Each year, ten students from Lafayette College are selected to become part of the Lafayette Initiative for College Education (LIME). The Lafayette students are paired with high school students in Madagascar and go on a three week trip to meet their mentees. This year, I was fortunate to be part of the 2014-2015 team!
We are all given so much throughout our lives that we will never be able to give back. It is easy for people to simply be grateful for the gifts that others have given to them and to not give it another thought. It is much harder to take those gifts and use them to make an impact in another person’s life.
I believed that my trip would allow me to finally repay some of the generosity that had been shown to me. What I found was that mentoring Malagasy students could not be considered “giving back” because they were the ones who were teaching me. Even with the heart-felt gratitude they showed all of the Lafayette students while we worked with them, I never gave them half of what they taught me. They went from being mentees to being more like friends and siblings.
After meeting these highly dedicated, hardworking and enthusiastic Malagasy students, I cannot think of anything more courageous and fulfilling than taking a role in the realization of someone else’s dreams. This mentorship program turned out to be a life-changing experience and the best part about it is that these connections and memories will last for a lifetime!
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