Post contributed by Team Mentor Kamrie Yeung
My sister established the first Independence High School NGC team after returning from her trip to Leon, Nicaragua as a Glimpser. At the time, I was a Freshman, quite clueless to what was going on in the rest of the world. I joined my sister in the beginning of NGC
Besides what was in the Team Box sent to us, we did not have much of an idea what to do with the club. As the only one with the time and interest, I was appointed “Art Director” of the club, making posters, hand-painting the t-shirts. Eventually, I was able to convince a few of my close friends to join NGC. Although the club was in a constant struggle to take off due to the extreme shortage of members and support, we always knew NGC’s main ideas of sustainable change, awareness, and community. We were lost, but we were lost together.
After my sister and the original Global Glimpse group graduated, it became a sort of unspoken tradition that the NGC leaders would be Glimpsers. We believe that this is the best way to teach our members – by letting those with true hands-on experience in global service share their knowledge. For two more years, our team faced obstacle after obstacle, as we were still a new club and knew very little about the logistics, requirements, and restrictions for every project. We always had great ideas, but were never able to follow through with them the last moment because of some restriction from the school. As “Secretary” for the club, I had to negotiate many times with the school office to allow us to hold events. We tried many things, including reaching out to our community’s grassroots, contacting elementary and middle school principals to ask for permission to present in classes. Perhaps because of the budget cuts and the dropping in test scores of said schools, none of the principals seemed to have time for us.
Come Junior Year, I began to prepare for my own trip with Global Glimpse. Despite the obstacles we faced with NGC, I had learned much about global issues and sustainable changes and was able to include my experiences in my application. Thankfully, I was accepted in December of 2012 to be a Glimpser. Although I was gifted with a scholarship for the trip, I knew I still needed to fundraise a lot of money to help my parents afford it. Again, the knowledge and experience I gained with NGC was put to excellent use as I was the only one in our school’s Global Glimpse group who had the persistence to fundraise at all, and fundraised almost eight-hundred dollars towards my trip. From my experience with Global Glimpse and three-week’s stay in Jinotega, Nicaragua, I learned much not only about culture, politics, and service, but also about leadership, people, and myself.
Finally I had a chance to lead NGC! (Don’t get me wrong, we voted for positions in the previous year, careful to keep the democracy.) After returning from Global Glimpse, I had a renewed determination and courage; I knew I had the persistence to make a difference. With the friends who had stayed with NGC and me all these years, I went into turbo work mode. First line of business was to recruit; we depend very heavily on our members’ support and help to spread community education. Step by step, we saw NGC flutter its wings and take flight. Our team’s determination, knowledge, and innovation helped us make the events we couldn’t have before. We made bracelets representing the hand-in-hand relationship between cultures and information cards telling of the Interfaith Mediation Center’s mission to fundraise; we sold out after just two days. We held a showing of Half the Sky and had a heart-to-heart discussion afterwards that spurred our new members to work for a cause they believed in. Along the way, encouragement from our team mentor Catherine kept us on track and determined. Although we still stumbled, we truly established our presence as a team on campus with our devoted members. Simultaneously, I worked as Global Glimpse Ambassador, giving tips to the next groups of Glimpsers. By the end of the school year, we saw such a growth in NGC that we could’ve only dreamt of three years ago.
Because of the obstacles and success that we have met, I am thrilled to have a chance to help current NGC team leaders overcome and achieve their own just as our team mentor did for us!