There are few things that are for me scarier than going into the unknown which is exactly what I was doing going into the Atlas Corps Fellowship. In taking a leap of faith, I was also choosing to have my beliefs, my perceived strengths, my very essence challenged and rethought. I was accepting to leave behind familiarity in the hope that I would find a home away from home, that the kindness of strangers would give me a second family.

I recall the feeling of relief when I was received by my contact at the airport and she gave me a bottle of water and a protein bar and helped me navigate my way to the bus that would take me to the hostel. To have someone there to receive and guide me in those first few moments was heaven after a long long journey. This for me set the pace and assuaged my fears about what I was getting into.

I recall sharing the first dinner of the fellowship journey with my roommate and how we instantly bonded over our fatigue, jetlag and anticipation for the fellowship ahead. I remember feeling instantly at peace, and realizing that despite coming from different and diverse backgrounds we truly are the same, and I had found a sister away from home.

Fast forwarding to the Global Leadership Lab(GLL), I was humbled to meet so many fellows all selflessly serving a cause greater than themselves, daring to offer their immense skills and expertise with a vision to improve the world. By the end of the GLL I already knew what it was that would drive me through the coming fellowship, that despite the fear and anxiety that came with charting unknown territory, I was not alone, I had a family.