Student Reflection of International Collaborations

Written by Madison Jaco, GLOBE Alumni Hawkins Texas


I have just finished up my first year at the greatest university in the world, Texas A&M (Gig ‘Em!), with the goal of earning my Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a focus on Politics and Diplomacy and a French minor.  Any time I tell people that, they are shocked.  “How did you ever get into that coming from such a small town in East Texas?”  I usually answer this with a follow up question.  “Ever heard of the GLOBE Program?”

Then I go into my spiel.  I tell people all about the fun I had working with not only my school, but schools all across the world studying the environment and finding innovative ways to create a dialogue to save it.  I tell them about my trips to India and Washington D.C. and the all nighters at the middle school doing dissolved oxygen testing.

Most importantly to me, I am sure to mention the relationships I have built all thanks to GLOBE.  Last summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Croatia to stay with some girls I had met briefly two years before at a GLOBE conference.  Since then, I had kept up with the students via Facebook, Snapchat, and the occasional late night Skype.  For nearly a month, I lived with the Pavletic family, running around Rijeka, Croatia, and even parts of Italy.  Never in a million years would I have imagined myself flying 40 hours alone to go stay with people I had hardly met 2 years prior.  I may not always remember how to perform a D.O. test, but I will never forget a friendship like that which GLOBE has provided me.

When I interviewed for a scholarship just prior to graduating high school, they asked me, “What would you consider your greatest success?”  Instantly, I thought of GLOBE and how it shaped and pushed me to discover what I am truly passionate about: equality of education across the world.  I consider finding what I love to be a success because that is quite uncommon to at 18.  The Terry Foundation saw something in the way I talked about this passion, and I have since been selected as a Terry Scholar and am receiving my education at Texas A&M fully funded by the Terry Foundation.

GLOBE truly expanded my definition of the global community, and sparked my interest in education.  Because of this, I am now the Co-Chair of a brilliant organization, The Women’s Bakery (TWB).  Our campus chapter works to create a community dialogue on women’s rights and socioeconomic status in all corners of the world and raise funds to send to TWB, currently working in Rwanda and Tanzania.  TWB is an education-centric social enterprise which works to empower women and men through education.  The program sends them through business classes, and upon graduation they are given the opportunity to join one of TWB’s bakeries and create a source of stable income for themselves and their families.  I consider GLOBE directly responsible for this passion, and I am thankful each day that I get to work on a project as impactful as The Women’s Bakery.

Ultimately, this is how I will remember the program.  It is not just about the science, it is about creating a global community, a sense of knowing your neighbor even when they live an ocean away.  GLOBE created a foundation of friends and colleagues who truly understand the importance of science, education, and changing the world for the better.  Merci, GLOBE.


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