Gap Year Radio
Ep. 701 Dan Schmidt, Independent Covid Gapper

Ep. 701 Dan Schmidt, Independent Covid Gapper

We open our newest season with covid gapper Dan Schmidt who has a super interesting gap year story. As a creative, Dan expanded his professional skill set by spending a large chunk of his year as a videographer for the Adventures with Purpose YouTube channel. He helped bring the channel from 250,000 subscribers to over 1 million, all while traveling the country, learning to pilot drones and solving missing person cases through AWP efforts.

Adventures With Purpose specializes in raising submerged vehicles out of bodies of water. AWP got started as an environmental operation but has since helped solve 10 Cold Cases, providing answers and closure for families seeking answers. They have also removed 100+ vehicles from lakes and rivers since 2019. 

Hot Tip: Dan credits LinkedIn for helping him find this fascinating opportunity. If you don’t currently have a profile, consider this your sign from the universe to make one!

Since moving on from his Adventures with Purpose experience, Dan has participated in another internship and is spending the fall on personal media projects. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Dan!

Find Dan at Dan Schmidt Media.

Drone time!
Ethan Knight of the Gap Year Association

Ethan Knight of the Gap Year Association

Today on the pod we are excited to have Ethan Knight, founding director of the Gap Year Association. Julia and Margo take some time to talk to Ethan about the history of the Gap Year Association (GYA), his personal path that brought him here, the meaning of life, climate based gap years, and the current state of the field after a challenging pandemic year. 

What is the Gap Year Association?
“Founded in 2012, the Gap Year Association is the only national nonprofit working to coordinate the growing Gap Year Movement. As a public benefit not-for-profit Association with members, we believe that all intentional gap years have significant and positive practical outcomes, whether independent or as part of a formal program. The GYA focuses on four core areas: Research, Equity & Access, Resources, and finally Standards and Accreditation. Each year we advance gap year research with member-initiatives, an annual State of the Field Survey, and regularly direct larger research efforts such as the 2015 and 2020 National Alumni Survey. We also believe strongly that young adults of all walks of life benefit from an intentional gap year and thus work to promote scholarships, as well as inclusivity efforts within our membership and the broader community. In fact, it is our aspiration that all gap year students should have access to a semester worth of transferable college credit that is supported with access to FAFSA dollars – college may not be right for everyone, but a quality gap year will profoundly impact many more than just the student who takes one. Finally, the GYA is the Standards Development Organization for Gap Year Education in the US, as recognized by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.”

You can find Ethan and his colleagues at the Gap Year Association online at https://www.gapyearassociation.org/ or on Instagram and Facebook @gapyearassociation.

Ep. 606 Vanesia Dedmon on Carpe Mundi

Ep. 606 Vanesia Dedmon on Carpe Mundi

Today on the pod we welcome Vanesia Dedmon, who is an alum of Carpe Mundi’s semester in Spain and Morocco from the spring of 2019.

Carpe Mundi is a non-profit organization that provides low-income, first-generation Portland college students with a year-long mentorship and scholarship program that includes an experiential education study abroad program. Their mission is to empower low-income college students to reach their full potential through international learning experiences and mentorship. You can learn more about their program online at https://www.carpemundi.org/ or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/carpemundipdx/?hl=en.

Vanesia shares with us some of her favorite stories from her gap time, including a journal excerpt from her first impressions of landing in Morocco at the beginning of her journey, to hiking the Camino de Santiago, to her first experience at a traditional Hammam. She also shares with us some of the most important pieces students should focus on to prepare for an experience of this nature, and some of the biggest takeaways that have continued to impact her life today.

Ep. 605 Gap Year Alum Maytal Agasi on Israel, East Africa and Having a Life of Adventure

Ep. 605 Gap Year Alum Maytal Agasi on Israel, East Africa and Having a Life of Adventure

Harvesting olives at Eco Israel

Maytal Agasi took a gap year because she wanted to break out of the classroom and have an adventure in the real world. And boy, did she! Maytal spent her gap year working on a sustainable farm in Israel with Eco-Israel, traveling and participating in service-learning projects in East Africa with Carpe Diem Education and working closer to home as well. Maytal tells us that her gap time away from formal education gave her an outlet for the first time in her life to learn effectively.

 
Through these experiences, her ambitions shifted completely. Originally aiming to major in art history, her time in Israel transformed her into a proud environmentalist and permaculturalist. Her experience in East Africa offered her a chance for a big adventure –  to travel in a new place while learning about the culture through ethical service projects and homestays. 


Maytal took her gap time a couple years ago, long before the pandemic upended the way we can travel. She tells us how her gap time prepared her for the challenges of the pandemic and how she took the pandemic disruption as an opportunity to have another adventure. 


You can find Eco Israel at https://eco-israel.org/ and Carpe Diem Education at carpediemeducation.org.

Ep. 604 Rising Earth Immersion with Alison Sever and Kaylah Brathwaite

Ep. 604 Rising Earth Immersion with Alison Sever and Kaylah Brathwaite

 

In this episode you are going to hear from Alison Sever, Program Director of Rising Earth Immersion at the Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain, as well as Kaylah Brathwaite, Fall 2020 alum of the Rising Earth Immersion Program. 

This program is a holistic environmental leadership program that focuses on social justice, spirituality, and mindfulness. Alison and Kaylah tell us more about the philosophy and curriculum behind the REI program, as well as their own personal gap year and justice origin stories.

You can find Rising Earth Immersion online at https://eco-institute.org/rising-earth-transformative-permaculture-immersion and on Instagram @the.eco.institute.

Ep. 603 Americorps NCCC with current Corps members Emma McSalis and Amelie Cook

Ep. 603 Americorps NCCC with current Corps members Emma McSalis and Amelie Cook

In this episode, you are going to hear from two exceptional Americorps NCCC members, Emma and Amelie. Emma and Amelie are currently in the middle of their service year and tell us all about the projects they have completed and a few that are still in front of them. Something similar across all NCCC experiences is the diversity of projects Corps members participate in – from disaster relief to trail building to volunteering at the Humane Society to vaccine distribution, these young women and their teams are making the US a better place one project at a time. They’ll tell us more about the experience and what to expect as a Corps member.

National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), or AmeriCorps NCCC is an AmeriCorps program that engages 18- to 24-year-olds in team-based national and community service in the United States. National Civilian Community Corps teams complete about four different six- to eight-week-long projects during their 10-month term of service. Each team is made up of eight to twelve Corps Members and one Team Leader. Corps Members and Team Leaders are representative of all colors, creeds, states, and economic status. Approximately 1,200 Corps Members and Team Leaders are chosen annually to serve at one of four regional campuses, located in Sacramento, California; Denver, Colorado; Vinton, Iowa; and Vicksburg, Mississippi.

NCCC accepts applications on a rolling basis with deadlines. To find out more and start your application, go here.

Begin your NCCC journey

1. Options to prepare for the application and selection process.

We encourage you to start your application and selection process by using one or more of the options below. If you are ready to proceed with your application, remember to reference the visual guide for tips and tricks as you move through the application process. 
 

Option 1: Connect with us (not required)

Fill out a brief form if you’d like to receive support and detailed information on the AmeriCorps NCCC application process.

Complete connect with us form

Option 2: Join a webinar (not required)

Join us for an interactive webinar on March 18 at 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). We’ll host a Q&A panel with a few of our esteemed alumni so you can hear firsthand what it’s like to serve.

Register for next webinar

Can’t make this date? No worries! Check back for more virtual events this winter. A recording of our most recent webinar can be found here.
 

Option 3: Visual guide to the AmeriCorps application process

We’ll walk you through the registration and application process and provide tips for a successful AmeriCorps NCCC application.

View visual guide

Eligibility Requirements

  • To serve as a Corps Member, you must be between 18-26* years old. To serve as a Team Leader, you must be 18 or older (no upper age limit). You may apply to Traditional Corps at 17, if you will turn 18 before arriving on campus. You must be 18 to apply to FEMA Corps.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen (required for FEMA Corps), or a Lawful Permanent Resident of the U.S.
  • Must pass an initial drug screening test upon arrival to the program. A positive test on a drug screen for any substance (including marijuana) at any time during service could result in dismissal from the program.
  • Team Leaders must have a valid driver’s license, as they will be expected to drive the team vehicle.
  • Must be available for 10-12 months of full-time service consisting of extensive travel.

*The CARES Act, passed by Congress in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, increased the upper age limit for participation as an AmeriCorps NCCC Corps Member to 26 years old. Under the CARES Act, Section 3514(d), the upper age limit for AmeriCorps NCCC members is 26.  AmeriCorps NCCC applies the upper age limit at the time a member arrives on campus and is activated as a member. That means individuals must be on campus and activated as members for at least one day before turning 27. The 26-year upper age limit will remain in effect until further notice.

Ep. 602 Gapping in Israel with Author and Israel Gap Year Expert Phyllis Folb and Alum Ayden Novick

Ep. 602 Gapping in Israel with Author and Israel Gap Year Expert Phyllis Folb and Alum Ayden Novick

In this episode, we continue to #explorethegapyear this Gap Year Exploration Month by learning about the diversity of gap year opportunities in Israel. Beyond the religious and cultural significance of the country, travel to Israel offers the opportunity to delve into its natural beauty, foodie culture, tech-startup excitement, archeological landmarks, and plenty of adventure.

First we speak with gap alum Ayden Novick who spent his year with Young Judea in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Young Judaea Year Course is the largest gap year program in Israel. Participants live in Israel for nine months, earning up to 30 college credits. Ayden studied Jewish history and culture experientially, which he talks about in our interview. He also volunteered with the Israeli ambulance service, an experience that was challenging, eye-opening and rewarding for him.

Next you’ll hear from Phyllis Folb, a gap year expert and executive director of the American Israel Gap Year Association. She also just wrote a book called Find Your Right Direction: The Israel Gap Year Guide. She’ll go over why you might want to consider a gap year in Israel and discuss the array of options available to gappers.

Show Notes:

BBYO: BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. 

Masa: Resources and scholarships for Jewish Teens

American Israel Gap Year Association and THE book: Find Your Right Direction, available in ebook or paperback

Note from the hosts of Gap Year Radio: For Jewish teen activists passionate about addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through political and social action stateside, you delve into this complex topic through both structured programs and political organizations as well.

Ep. 601 Gap Year Exploration Month with Bliss Bean’s Beatrice Naujalyte

Ep. 601 Gap Year Exploration Month with Bliss Bean’s Beatrice Naujalyte

We kick off Season Six (when did that happen?!) with an overview of Gap Year Exploration Month with youtuber Beatrice Naujalyte of the Bliss Bean. Beatrice will walk us through all  the exciting ways to #explorethegapyear in February!

Gap Year Exploration Month, or GYEM (pronounced “gem”), is a time to share information, recognize, support, and celebrate those who are considering or have taken a gap year. For the month of February, educators, program providers, industry groups, gap year alumni, and others come together to grow awareness of the gap year option and its benefits.

Find an event listing for Gap Year Exploration Month events HERE!

Use these tags on instagram to tell friends about your upcoming gap year plans! There’s an alum tag for those of you who have already taken your gap year:

Check out Beatrice’s gap year planning advice on her channel and especially the video below!

 
 
 
 
 

More info:


GapYearExplorationMonth.com

Find Beatrice at www.theblissbean.com

You can find Gap Year Radio on instagram and facebook @gapyearradio or online at www.gapyearradiopodcast.com. You can email us your gap year questions or comments at gapyearradio@gmail.com

You can download our show wherever you find your favorite podcasts, and if you have a moment, we’d love for you to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts so more people can discover Gap Year Radio! 

Ep. 507 Gap Year Alumni Survey Results with Researcher Kempie Blythe & 2021 Program Preview

Ep. 507 Gap Year Alumni Survey Results with Researcher Kempie Blythe & 2021 Program Preview

Margo and Julia close out Season Five of Gap Year Radio by looking behind and looking ahead. We talk to international educational consultant Kempie Blythe about the results of the 2020 Gap Year Alumni Survey, a massive nation-wide survey conducted by the Gap Year Association. Kempie gives us a highlight reel of survey results that showcase the benefits and outcomes of the gap year option. Afterwards, Julia and Margo give an overview of gap year opportunities on offer for winter/spring 2021 and the safety protocols programs have in place to manage covid risk for students and communities. If you are taking a gap year or gap semester and looking information on what is possible, this episode is a must-listen!

International Educational Consultant and founder of Transformative Travel Consulting Kempie Blythe is the co-researcher on the 2020 Gap Year Alumni Survey, conducted by the Gap Year Association. Together with researcher Nina Hoe Gallagher, Kempie poured over the data from 1200 respondents as well as alums from Americorps to analyze the motivations, activities and outcomes of gap year participants.

Here are some key findings that we discuss on the show:

  • Motivations – Respondents say they took gap time to gain life experience, see the world/experience different cultures.
  • Cost – 1/3 of respondents spent less than $5,000.
  • Recipes – Respondents engaged in 246 different combinations of activities! Travel abroad, service work, language learning, and structured programming were common elements of gap year experiences for the majority respondents.
  • Outcomes – Respondents cite increased maturity and self confidence, learning how to interact with people from different cultures/backgrounds as the top outcomes of their gap time.
  • Skills – Respondents cite cultural awareness, communication, and self-direction as top skill outcomes.
  • Greatest growth, learning and development were fostered through interactions with difference (different place and new/different people).
  • 95% of respondents reported that their gap year prepared them for their next step (whether it was college, vocational school, community college, military, or the workforce).
  • Gap year outcomes were not related to type, length, cost of gap year or what the participant did afterwards (college, CTE, workforce) .

In other words, you can do anything on your gap year and reap the positive outcomes as long as is it is done with intention!

The last half of the episode we explore what students can consider for 2021 gapping. Some resources we think are great include:

Gap Year Association, including their COVID program page that will update which programs are running programs.

GoOverseas and USA Gap Year Fairs (virtual!)

TeenLife

Ladder

Let’s Gapp

 

Ep. 506 Tyler Newman on Year of Mastery

Ep. 506 Tyler Newman on Year of Mastery

Joining us on the pod today is Tyler Newman, a current gapper and founder of a gap year program called Year of Mastery, which is an opportunity for students to unlock their fullest potential through 12 months of passion exploration. She tells us more about her accessible, student led peer support model that gives students the platform they need to succeed in their gap year. She also discusses her other personal endeavors, including tutoring in her free time, as well as the other projects she has recently founded. She shares about Afro Puff Chronicles, which gives womxn of color a platform to speak their truth through a celebration of art and writing, and her upcoming Women of Color virtual conference in March.

 

You can find Tyler and her team at Year of Mastery on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yearofmastery/?hl=en, and you can find Afro Puff Chronicles online at http://afropuffchronicles.com/ or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/afropuffchronicles/?hl=en!