By Jennifer Arreola Soria, DCIS-Montbello
The summer of 2014 must have been the best ever. As a young girl, I dreamed of traveling. The thought of travel was so far off. Never would I have I thought that I could have the opportunity to travel to the other side of the world as a high school student. The DCIS Foundation made my dreams and ambitions accessible. Travel isn’t so far off to me anymore. This adventure allowed me to view people and opportunity differently.
Waking up in Beijing, China was so strange. Before arriving, I thought I was breathing different air, I was walking on unique land, and that I was looking at different skies. I was so astonished by the fact that as a world with over six billion people, we shared this world. The air, the land, and the skies were the same. My community was those who surrounded me. It was made up of those that I saw on a daily basis. Today, I see that those who are over 3,000 miles away are still within my community. After all, the bigger the crowd, the greater the impact. It may sound like a cliché, but I see individuals from different walks of life coming together and making a great impact on the world. Each individual brings their own perspective to the world that has shaped to what it is today.
Not only did I get to interact with Chinese natives, I had the opportunity to bond with my classmates. My group was built of mostly middle school students. I was a little skeptical of traveling with middle schoolers at first, but I have gotten so close to them. I didn’t see them as middle schoolers while in China. I was walking with my group of friends. Having them experience this trip with me, made it all the better. We created so many memories that will last a lifetime.
Before traveling, I never took opportunities that were offered to me. Opportunity intimidated me. I was so used to doing everything with my parents. I never traveled without them. I had never slept outside of my house without them. Even though it was all a very intimidating process, I forced myself to step outside of my comfort zone. I knew that I wanted to do it, I just afraid of how it might turn out. As I boarded the plane, I knew that there was no turning back. I had gone through all that trouble of raising money that I HAD to go. The scenery, the people, the food, it was all so like an illusion. I could not believe that I was there at that very moment. I was living in a perfect world.
Overall, the DCIS Foundation allowed me to not only live the dream, but also face those fears that haunted me. This journey allowed me to open the doors to another journey. Life. I now feel that I am prepared for what life throws at me. I have the skills and tools to better myself, and to make other dreams become goals.