Carla Hinson '13
Majors: International Studies, Spanish | Sykesville, Md.
The first time I got lost, really lost, was on a mission trip to Mexico when I was 16. We had stopped to explore the local market and I had strayed from my group when a vendor grabbed me to show me his collection of knock-off watches. When I looked up, I found myself “alone” in the crowded, labyrinth market of Tampico, Mexico. Up until that point, I had let the other members of my group lead the way. After a detour through the meat-selling district and an exchange of frantic Spanglish with several townspeople, I found my way to the bus.
That is when I learned the importance of getting lost, or rather, the value of finding my way. When I was old enough that I found myself frequently on an adventure, I began to study maps. I didn’t want to let others lead me around, and I sought the independence that would come with having an open world to explore.
Like any challenge, my Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Brazil will require preparation and a healthy amount of confidence. I have prepared for it through my ample experiences as a mentor and teacher, whether I was training my fellow interns at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs or helping ESL high school students navigate the college application process.
Upon my return to the United States, I hope to attend graduate school, work for a non-profit organization—preferably one focused on Latin America—and eventually return to the classroom to teach. The on-the-ground experiences I will have working in the Brazilian education system will equip me with a unique perspective.
The professional and personal growth that I anticipate from this Fulbright award will prepare me to reach those goals. I am excited to get lost in the Brazilian culture and way of life. I am prepared for the challenges of being an ambassador and look forward to the privilege of finding my own way.
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