CEO’s Message to the AMIGOS Class of 2016
Nineteen years ago I was in your shoes, about to depart for my first AMIGOS experience. As you prepare to depart on the summer of a lifetime, I have a few words of advice:
- No matter what your Spanish level, don’t hold back. You will be supported. The more you put yourself out there, the more you will improve and most importantly, the earlier you will begin to form relationships in your community.
- Take the leap and disconnect. And yes I am talking about cell phones, social media, and the like. There are very few times in today’s society that we are given the chance to disconnect and just “be.” While it may be disconcerting at first, just go with it. You won’t regret it.
- Use your CALM Plan. Whatever the issue or concern you have, our team will be there to respond. But we can’t read minds – we are not there yet. Use your CALM plan to contact us. And remember, mom and dad won’t be able to help you from here – contact us first.
- No matter how cute the animal, please don’t touch. I really don’t want to see you in Houston to receive the rabies prophylaxis. I promise you can pet all the animals you want when you get home.
- Be inquisitive. Ask questions. You will be amazed how much you will discover.
- Start exploring options for your Community Based Initiative early. If you are a procrastinator, you know who you are, this is for you. A community project is not something you can start and finish the night before it’s due.
- Cover yourself in repellent. And reapply! I have heard time and time again that participants do not use their repellent as their family members are not using it. Put it on in your room or in the bathroom if you are afraid it is insensitive.
- Consider coming back for additional AMIGOS leadership experiences as a Project Supervisor or join a local chapter after high school. It is an experience and professional stepping stone you will not regret.
- Remember, once an AMIGO, always an AMIGO.
I hope you take advantage of every opportunity you have this summer.
President & CEO