Gap Year Radio
Ep. 705 Kevin Fagan on Where There Be Dragons

Ep. 705 Kevin Fagan on Where There Be Dragons

On this episode of Gap Year Radio we are excited to have Kevin Fagan joining us, a gap year alum who participated in Where There Be Dragons’ Andes and Amazon semester for his fall term, and then spent the second half of his gap year solo backpacking through Europe.

 

Kevin shares with us some of the highlights from his semester in South America with Dragons and some of his biggest takeaways from this experience, as well as how that semester helped launch him into more independent travels and adventures for his spring semester.

Kevin is a recent graduate of Gonzaga University and is now working in sustainability consulting in the Spokane, Washington area, and as someone who is five years out from these experiences he is able to share with us how his gap year continues to impact his passions and career path today.

You can find Where There Be Dragons online at https://www.wheretherebedragons.com/ or on Facebook and Instagram @wheretherebedragons.

Ep. 704 Tufts 1+4 and Amigos Alum Luke Pangan Petrosky

Ep. 704 Tufts 1+4 and Amigos Alum Luke Pangan Petrosky

 

In 2019, Luke participated in the Tufts 1+4 Bridge Year program with Amigos de las Américas in Cuenca, Ecuador. He lived with a host family and worked at Fundación Crea tu Espacio, a non-profit that aids migrants during their transitory periods. Some of his responsibilities included working at daycare centers for toddlers, organizing fundraisers, facilitating workshops, and assisting with a community-based project to build an auxiliary location for the Fundación. Luke also talks about how his gap year offered him the space to explore his sexual orientation and ethnic identity. He explains why his bridge year was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of his life.

Find Tufts 1+4 program details here – their 22/23 program will be a civic action semester in the southwest USA

Learn more about Amigos and their program offerings here and check them out on instagram here.

Ep. 703 Jenae Edwards on Art, Skateboarding and Exploring the Bahamas

Ep. 703 Jenae Edwards on Art, Skateboarding and Exploring the Bahamas

 

Listen today to our conversation with Jenae Edwards, who tells us all about how she filled an unexpected covid gap year with meaning. ⁠

Jenae used her gap time to create art and delve deeper into my love of art, while picking up a new skill of skateboarding and learning a lot from the community on her island. She says her perspective of home has completely changed as a result of spending her gap time in the Bahamas…how you wonder? Well take a listen to find out! ⁠

You can check out Jenae’s Youtube page here.

Her art is on sale here

Jenae’s insta is here.

Mucci’s instagram is here.

 

Ep. 702 Aliza Saunders, Tivnu Building Justice Alum

Ep. 702 Aliza Saunders, Tivnu Building Justice Alum

Episode 702 brings you our conversation with Aliza Saunders, a 18/19 alum of Tinvu: Building Justice. Tivnu is a nine-month gap year program based in Oregon that focuses on social justice engagement. ⁠ ⁠ Participants create a community living together, discovering the Pacific Northwest, and exploring the bond between Jewish life and social justice while working with Portland’s cutting-edge grassroots organizations.⁠

Through Tivnu, Aliza says she was able to engage in direct service, learn about marco social justice issues, live in a communal Jewish household, and explore the Pacific Northwest. She interned at Street Roots, a street newspaper that employs houseless and low-income, where I was able to work directly with those experiencing homelessness and organize winter and summer supplies from local faith groups + corporations.

Aliza also worked as a construction intern, building tiny homes alongside formerly houseless individuals. In addition to this direct service, Tivnu participants learned from local and national professionals about the root causes of the issues they observed first hand each day.

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.