Three months back, I read a piece in Huffington post (http://huff.to/28YprP4) that included Atlas Corps in the list of top five fellowship programs to jumpstart one’s journey as a Global Changemaker. As someone about to join Atlas Corps Class 21, I was curious as to what made Atlas Corps so special to be included in such a small and selective list, while keeping various other programs out. After spending a month here in Washington DC, I can now testify to the verdict of this particular post.

Right after our arrival here as Fellows from Atlas Corps Class 21, we went through two weeks of rigorous orientation and Global Leadership lab (GLL) immersion sessions. On the surface these two events look pretty standard but given that fact that Delloite (http://bit.ly/1xKfqqA) conducts the GLL Immersion sessions, adds great value to them. Also, the orientation sessions significantly help fellows to adjust here in the US, sensitizing us of various cultural and linguistic differences.

After the first two weeks, when fellows join their Host Organizations the learning journey and contact with Atlas Corps doesn’t cease, rather it is strengthened through representing Atlas Corps in various high profile events. In my particular case, I had the privilege to attend, World Bank Global Youth Forum; The Future of Peace Summit; Building Bridges Coalition: 10th Anniversary Forum; Social Innovation Summit; and USIP Global perspectives Session: Youth, Peace and Security. Also, I am the only lucky fellow from Class 21 who joined the Graduate Certificate Program in Inclusive Security at the SIT Graduate Institute and that too on a full scholarship.

Now, many of you may be thinking that this is NOT humanly possible to take part in so many activities and high profile events with in a short span of one month and that too in a completely new country, where I just moved in from South East Asia. Some of you may be thinking that I don’t really have a social life, when I am doing multiple things at the same time. Well, as it turns out that not only I have a social life, in which I spend quality time with my four amazing housemates but I also serve full-time with my wonderful host organization i.e., Creative Associates International (http://bit.ly/1xSxEaN). During this short month, my host organization also interviewed all Atlas Corps Fellows and will shortly release a video sharing our distinct journeys that brought us all here at Creative.

I always wanted to test my limits and see the impact in a highly demanding environment; Atlas Corps provided me the opportunity and I snapped it up. This also leads to my testimony affirming the verdict of Huffington post piece that included Altas Corps amongst the top five fellowships to jumpstart one’s journey as a Global Changemaker. Serving with US non-profits in happening cities like Washington DC and New York and representing Atlas Corps in several high profile events distinguishes Atlas Corps and bring it to the top five fellowships to jumpstart one’s global changemaker journey.

As the Founder and CEO of Atlas Corps, Scott Beale rightly said, “Talent is universally distributed but opportunity is not”; Atlas Corps has provided us with an opportunity to explore a wealth of opportunities during our 9-18 months fellowship here in the US. Now, it depends on us how we make the most out of it.

Lao-Tzu said that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”; I have taken a leap of faith and taken the first step by challenging myself and joining the Atlas Corps fellowship. I have 11 more months to make the maximum out of this amazing opportunity and continue my journey as a Global Changemaker.

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Note: The blog is also published at: http://bit.ly/28TbrT6