A dream I can remember as a young girl was exploring the world. I, like many Americans, grew up in a small down that no one outside of the locals had heard of. My family knew little of the world beyond the United States, but I can remember meeting people who had traveled and being inspired by the stories they would share- the foreign and exciting adventure that lie in wait beyond the blue oceans that guard this country. I wanted nothing more than to see and experience they strange and exotic places, and at the age of 15, I finally did.
My first trip was to Curitiba, Brazil- a place to which I would return. Then to France, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, Germany, China, Argentina, Spain, France (again), Italy, and the list goes on and on. I made traveling and learning a priority, and was fortunate enough to find the fates offer me more chances to go, do, and learn.
It was in deciding to become a secondary teacher that I knew the role international travel had played into my life experience, and this into the creation of the person I now am. It was my first trip as a high school student to Brazil that changes the course of my life, and I wanted my students to have the same opportunities to experience the world and let it inform them about others and about themselves.
Thus, again travel became my priority and I established the “Dragon’s Abroad” international travel program for the students at Middleburg Academy. Each year we take our students to a new country in which we hope to expose them to the things we teach about in our classrooms: language, history, culture, art-as well as the things we preach to them through the tenants of our school: character, leadership, and service. Our Dragon’s Abroad are the stories of our students and their experiences as they come to know and interact with world (some for the first time).