Today's feature is Rachel Eleiott, Cromwell High School Social Studies teacher and BRAVE's new Service Learning Coordinator! Rachel played a large role in our very first international service learning trip to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. We are very thankful for all of the amazing work she put in and we cannot wait to see what else she has in store!
Meaghan talked with Rachel after our trip to the Dominican Republic about bravery in her personal life and in the context of her service learning experience. Read on to see what Rachel had to say!
What do you believe it means to be BRAVE?
Um...I believe every morning when you wake up, all the choices you have in life -- I would say making the right choice is what makes you brave. Always putting your best foot forward and tapping into your potential every single day -- and also not worrying what other people feel or think about you.
What is the BRAVEst thing you have ever done?
The bravest thing that I ever had to do was love myself enough to know I could do anything, I could be anything, I could achieve anything for myself. I always had a tendency to let other people tell me what my worth was and it took me 28 years to realize that all I needed was within me.
What was the moment that this manifested for you?
Traveling for me. But last summer when I decided to go by myself and teach English in a foreign country -- it taught me more about myself than any college education or any other life experience.
How did you see BRAVEry exist among and within the humans you met in the Dominican Republic?
I mean it just comes down to choices and it seems like the people I met they choose to be happy, to do something in their community. They choose to open their homes and their hearts and their life experiences and that takes bravery because here (in the USA) people are so afraid to show their emotions or be vulnerable or you know connect to other people. And it just seemed there (in the DR) that bravery was in every fiber of who they were. Not to say that they had perfect lives at all but just the teachers and the children and people like Karina they made a choice and that was to be brave and to be themselves.
To learn more about Rachel, follow her blog here!