From Bruno Cardozo on HSI 2015
From Jayvy Gamboa’s facebook page on HSI 2015
After three weeks of being in the Hansen Summer Institute on Leadership and International Cooperation from June 29 to July 20, 2015 at the University of San Diego, I went back to the Philippines with a more open heart and mind on the realities of other countries. With 21 great people from 17 countries all over the world, we opened a new door towards a better understanding and appreciation of the world’s diversity.
Being immersed in a multitude of cultures is one of the missions of HSI. Learning about others’ traditions, beliefs, upbringings, and characters first hand is essential in revolutionizing one’s judgmental self. This will eventually lead in a widening of perspective on the issues which we only hear in the news, from the other sides of the world.
On a lighter note, I had a list of firsts because of HSI. First airplane ride, out-of-the-country trip, and horse ride, among others. Moreover, classes in negotiation, mediation, public speaking, and social entrepreneurship contributed in the success of this experience.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be with them, in person, and knowing their stories, as we share in writing our common story for three weeks. This shall forever be weaved in our personal stories.
Words cannot contain the happiness that I am feeling about this experience. It is only our hearts and shared consciousness which can truly comprehend the essence of this program. At the moment of farewell, our tears justify how we value each other as a family from different nations, housed in 5th floor Maher Hall, USD, which we consider home.
Now, I hope to successfully share the experience and skills to my fellow Filipinos, in hopes of ending discrimination and unreasonable judgments to our fellow humans. For every person to whom I share my story, I hope to revolutionize his/her perspective towards other nationalities.
To HSI 2015 Fellows, I fervently pray to see you again.
To the Filipino youth, I am prepared to share my story and the stories of the other Fellows.
To the Philippines, my hope for the future has never been this strong.
To God, thank You for leading me.
From Alberto Matus’ blog on HSI 2014
Exactly one month ago I was back home to my usual tasks, but with a sense of inspiration and pride. A feeling that still burns deeply, and will linger for quite some time. As I wrote on the group’s facebook page while feeling melancholic at San Diego’s airport “If there are things in life which you can call life changing, I can without a doubt say that this experience was. Never imagined I’d have that feeling which you get when you can’t let go of something, but leaving was! Each and everyone of you will always have a place in my heart and mind.” This is how I felt after being part of the Hansen Summer Institute 2014 fellowship programme.
The Hansen Summer Institute on International Leadership and Cooperationprogramme was held at the University of San Diego, and brought inspiring people from different continents. The participants came from a total of 16 different countries: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Israel, Egypt, Malawi, United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, and of course my very own awesome country Belize. We also had two amazing assistants in the programme, one from France/Cameroon and Mexico, which added another blend to the mix. These participants were chosen because they were the best of over 900 applications, they showed that burning desire that leads to change for the betterment of our countries. They were inspirational, motivational, aspiring, and true leaders who wanted more than just the little that is presented before us. They aspire to inspire, and inspire to aspire. We had one goal and that was bringing the world towards world peace.
You may ask how can a small group of people from very few countries bring world peace? I answer to all those who have asked that question before, I alone cannot change the world but by sparkling a change in each one of you to want a better tomorrow is a start. A start to want better, a start to want change, a start to want world peace. If each one of us was able to see the different worlds we live in and understand the different hardships people from different places go through, you would want to make it different. Each one of us has our own battles, and our own struggles but because we want a change for a better tomorrow we strive to make it better. Change doesn’t start from the top, it starts at home, it starts in the community you live, your country, and until you keep on spreading it like wildfire. Thus, I’m more than a hundred percent sure that each person who participated has a stronger drive for change.
The overall package that the Hansen Summer Institute brings is infinitely invaluable, no words, no actions can express how truly amazing the entire programme is. It heavily involved lectures by amazing professors, seminars, workshops by re-known people, and exclusive opportunities to have some of the most amazing time. These brought the best in each and every participant, from humorous jokes together with the group to some of the most personal stories which brought tears to our eyes. At first we may have been complete strangers to one another, but day by day we built a stronger bond. A bond that allowed us to express ourselves as an individual and our personal stories; it’s not everyday someone is able to express some of our deepest stories that touches others. But strong mentors, and teachers allow us to do that.
I could have not asked for a better birthday present this year, did I mention I flew in to San Diego right on my birthday? Thanks to Bonnie, Ron and the group there was plenty of delicious cake to have around like for a week until Anya finished it all I could go on writing a million words about how awesome the entire experience was, but If I had to some it up all it’s that the Hansen Summer Institute 2014 fellows, including Bonnie, Ron, and all those who had an impact are my new family. Memories cemented, lessons learned, and experiences to remember. I now look to venture in my social entrepreurship project this upcoming month which was also one of the many merits of the programme.
USA, Azerbaijan, Russian, Georgia – “Love, Peace, International Relations”. Every other week I’ll be posting a video or the participants overall reaction of the programme towards the end. Now I say as I kept telling Grecia “Imagine what would happen if we all stuck for a year…”
A huge thanks goes to Bonnie, Ron, and all the organizers of the programme, without them this experience would never be possible!!