Antonio's Global Citizen Gap Year

Antonio's Global Citizen Gap Year

From Edlih Ann Gallardo

Antonio has gone through a very selective process to be accepted into the Global Citizen Year program where he will be traveling to Brazil to participate in an apprenticeship.

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Update #19

about 3 years ago

Sorry for the delay in postings. Antonio has been going through some changes. His host family had to move and there was a time that we were unsure if he would be able to stay with them. In the end he is still with the family but commutes 1.5 to work and school because he has to avoid the favelas. He is no longer on the island bland he misses the ocean. He has been growing and developing at work having more responsibilities in doing work in the community as opposed to some paperwork and translations he had done at the beginning. He is now also performing live singing and playing guitar at events. He is growing close to his fellows and making friends in Brazil. They often get together to spend the day at the beach or visit each other's communities. The holidays were rough for boths sides. He missed us and we missed him too. There is so much I want to share that he has told me but here I am limited to a single picture. He began a blog on the organization's site but had difficulty adding after he lost his phone. His new phone is very simple. I was able to do some overtime around the holidays and save enough to send him extra money to buy a chromebook so he now has the ability to blog and write. At some point the organization's site was under renovation and so I am inserting his blog link here. You can subscribe and as he updates his blog you will receive a notification.

https://www.globalcitizenyear.org/updates/live-from-the-field-32/

More Info

Antonio has gone through a very selective process to be accepted into the Global Citizen Year program where he will be travelling to Brazil to participate in an apprenticeship.  During his time there he will be staying with a host family to learn the language, culture and give back in some way. The Brazil program can offer work in the science and education fields, both of which are his passions.   He hopes to gain real life experiences that can help to prepare him for the global society we have become while making a positive impact in the world around him. This program also offers College/University scholarships and helps to place the participants in higher education around the world.

As part of the program, each participant is asked to raise funds for these scholarships.  Antonio received a generous scholarship to pay for most of his program but he does have a small balance to cover in addition to the scholarship fundraising that is required of him. Unfortunately his surgery last year left us with little savings after the cost of all the doctor visits, hospital stay and loss of income while on FMLA to help care for him.  

Antonio is a talented writer, musician, dancer, and scholar.  He dreams of becoming a composer and music teacher and aspires to complete his higher education at Colorado State University.  

Antonio graduated high school with honor roll, received the English department Senior of the Year award, danced with the West Valley Conservatory of Ballet bringing free ballet performances to schools and families throughout the valley and has volunteered his time at St Vincent de Paul feeding homeless families.  He is a generous, giving, caring and extremely talented person who deserves this opportunity.  

He has taken up two jobs for the summer and is selling some things online and we are pulling from his college fund to help send him.  If you choose to give via Zelle - please contact me directly and we can have the funds transferred without fees.

For more information about the program visit:www.globalcitizenyear.org

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
about 3 years ago

Update #24

Sorry for the delay in postings. Antonio has been going through some changes. His host family had to move and there was a time that we were unsure if he would be able to stay with them. In the end he is still with the family but commutes 1.5 to work and school because he has to avoid the favelas. He is no longer on the island bland he misses the ocean. He has been growing and developing at work having more responsibilities in doing work in the community as opposed to some paperwork and translations he had done at the beginning. He is now also performing live singing and playing guitar at events. He is growing close to his fellows and making friends in Brazil. They often get together to spend the day at the beach or visit each other's communities. The holidays were rough for boths sides. He missed us and we missed him too. There is so much I want to share that he has told me but here I am limited to a single picture. He began a blog on the organization's site but had difficulty adding after he lost his phone. His new phone is very simple. I was able to do some overtime around the holidays and save enough to send him extra money to buy a chromebook so he now has the ability to blog and write. At some point the organization's site was under renovation and so I am inserting his blog link here. You can subscribe and as he updates his blog you will receive a notification.

https://www.globalcitizenyear.org/updates/live-from-the-field-32/

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #23

Antonio and I have continued to communicate, primarioy through WhatsApp. He did get a sinus infection but got throigh it. During the week he goes to work, twice a week he takes judo and once a week he goes to class. Everything is walking distance and very close by. His host father does judo with him and he enjoys spending his free time with his new friends.

He really loves the feeling of becoming more fluent in the language. His work is with an organization that directs funds for community projects. He spends his time translating documents and engaging in meaningful conversation about the community. He is excited to see his own progress through his work.

He was also surprised to see how casual his work environment is and how affectionate everyone is to each other. Please keep him in your prayers and thoughts.

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #22

Today I spoke with Antonio for about an hour. Since losing his phone, he bought a new, albeit basic, one that accepted the SIM card the organization provided. It comes with 3 GB of data and unlimited WhatsApp use. So we started leaving "voicies" as we call them (a term coined by my friend) We essentially check instant voice messages from eachother and reply by leaving a voice message of our own. I was eager for conversation, though. Here is the short version:
He is attending language classes in Portuguese (total immersion).
His host brother gets a long as he is also a musician that enioys superhero/Marvel movies. His host brother also speaks English well and often serves as interpreter for his host mom.
They use proper silverware for every meal and use the knife, even if only to help situate the food on the fork.
Dialects from different regions are easily discernable, and he happens to be in a region that speaks very quickly.
He is starting to see many differences in the cultures (music, dress, social behaviors) and i know soon he will focus on the similarities and even begin adopting some practices to fit in better.
He started his apprenticeship at a non-profit organization that allocates funding for community projects.
Everyone voes to work in casual dress, even management.
He thinks everyone is very affectionate and he and I both agree it suits his personality best.
He lives by the ocean and it is very foggy.
The place and people are inspiring him to to write almost daily.
His new phone does not take great pictures but we hope to see more pics soon on social media as well as fun ones for you here.

I'll try to post next week with more updates about his community involvement!

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #21

Antonio has been with his hist family for about a week. He loves his room with a balcony view. The family dog already accepted him into the family and his host mom has started following and commenting on our facebook posts. I just started feeling good about it all and he writes me the following:

"hi. so. My phone. is not a thing anymore."

Here is the short version:
He lost phone on bus, gets off at the wrong stop, catches an uber but ends up in a pary of town he doesnt recognize, then he chases down said uber and propositions a new ride home in broken Portuguese to find out that strange part of town wasn't the safest.

Every atom of my being is trying to go to Brazil to protect and help him. But I am doing the opposite. Just checking in and asking if he needs anything. His host family was kind enough to lend him a phone so now we chat on WhatsApp.

I'm counting my blessings and grateful for a kind family that is watching over him. I'm still waiting to find out why he was on the bus to begin with..

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #20

Antonio is getting a chance to get really neat hands on learning opportunities and got to showcase his new capoera and samba skills with his fellows.

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #19

Antonio has the priveledge of spending a week at a hotel on the beach with his fellows. They are getting in country training and it looks like they are having a good time! Check out his pictures on his facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/100007278243916/posts/2090978011154787/

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #18

After almost 24 hours of travel Antonio is in Brazil. He has already begun assimilation into the rich culture that surrounds him as evidenced in this picture. Haha! I almost wish i sent him in a shirt made out of the Puerto Rican flag.

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #16

After almost 24 hours of travel Antonio is in Brazil. He has already begun assimilation into the rich culture that surrounds him as evidenced in yhis picture. Haha! I almost wish i sent him in a shirt made out of the Puerto Rican flag.

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #14

Antonio has spent the last week completing pre-departure training with about 150 other students. Here is what he said about it so far, "So we have been doing team building and having a ton of guest speakers like people from Google X. We have had a talent show as well as classes about traveling. We are taking the week to build the mindset and attitude necessary to build relationships and rapport in a foreign country where we will be helping." He is on his way to the airport now and I know he is excited.

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #13

Said goodbye today to this beautiful boy. His journey has just begun with a week of pre-departure training at Stanford University. We continue to fundraise to meet his tuition and scholarship contribution. Please keep sharing and stay tuned for more updates!

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #12

Flights booked, picking up his visa in LA and meeting up with him in San Fran for a 30 hour goodbye. It's not too late to support him, he doesnt fly out to Brazil until 9/1. Please share or consider donating. Also, remember you we can accept funds via Zelle, too!

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #11

And just like that it's over, they said everything looked in order and are even holding it until I can pick it up when we bring them to drop him off for his program.

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #10

Who would have known that we needed to certify the documents we notarized? Leaving in less than 24 hours to the consulate and we HAVE to get this right.

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #9

We are cutting it so close. I'll be on a flight on Tuesday morning to Los Angeles to apply for his visa in person. Made use of some miles to cut the cost and have to fly out and back in the same day. Working overtime and applied for a new role at work that would be a promotion with a pay raise - hoping it comes in time to fund the rest of his trip...Trying to stay positive. :)

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #8

So close to our halfway point!! Please continue to share and know that Antonio is happy to earn every cent of it. He is a talented writer, poet, songwriter, musician, dancer (yes ballet!), and great with young children. He is very smart in the maths and sciences and in French, too! Need a tutor? Dog walker? Plant sitter? Fish feeder? Dish washer? Hit him up! He does work full time at Uhaul so schedule permitting. :) Thursdays and Saturdays are his day off. :)

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #7

Antonio has set up a separate fundraising account to keep his tuition separate from the scholarship fundraising he is required to conplete. If you ever consider donating directly to the scholarship fund of the Global Citizen Year than please click on this link: Donate.globalcitizenyear.org/fundraiser/1527237

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #5

Antonio was proud to set aside $200 from his new job's first paycheck. He added it to his "dream jar". Just got out of training but he is already asking for overtime.

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #4

Typhoid, yellow fever and malaria vaccines, check! Also found out he will be in Garapoba and we are very excited

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Edlih Ann Gallardo posted a new update:
over 3 years ago

Update #1

Passport ordered, check! Travel shots and background fingerprinting appointments set, check! Still need to order his travel visa and his medical dog tags in Portuguese. It's going to be interesting to see him travel with two steel bars inder his rib cage...

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