By: Collin Anderson
By the end of high school, I was unsure of what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to college, but I was unsure of what major to choose. I did not want to make a rash decision and throw myself to chase something that I may not want to do. My mom found a GAP Year Program called SOAR. It was completely out of my comfort zone at the time. The program consisted of learning essential skills like finance, professionalism, social skills, and leadership in Wyoming while exploring the experience of the great outdoors. I took a chance on the GAP Year, and it became one of the best decisions of my life. I accomplished a lot during my gap year. Some of these achievements included a Summiting Mountaineer trip three weeks total, with two of those weeks being back to back. I earned the chance to lead the last expedition, and I gained confidence, leadership skills, and learned how to effectively work with a team.
I later used what I learned at SOAR to gain some valuable professional experience. I worked in the sports industry with FC Tucson, a professional soccer club, during my time at the University of Arizona. However, despite the successes at Tucson, it was not the right fit for me due to the school being big. I decided to transfer to Notre Dame College, a smaller school that was more suited to my liking. I gained a wide range of friends. My current project before I graduate in a year and a half is to launch the college podcast station. Looking back, I contribute the increase of my confidence to SOAR. In turn, it has allowed me to believe that a GAP Year Program like SOAR can change a person’s perspective on life if they are willing to follow the guidelines.
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