My Internship at the Endophyte Service Lab at Oregon State University

My summer at the Endophyte Service Lab at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon has been an enlightening and very knowledgeable experience. This opportunity has provided me with the experience to greatly increase my knowledge and understanding of skills in the areas of chemistry, toxicology, and teamwork, as well as closely relate to my future aspirations of becoming a forensic biologist.

Working with these professionals as well as other students who have common interests with me in achieving their goals has been extremely knowledgeable and eye-opening as to what my future career entails. I have learned many helpful lab skills and techniques that would relate to an actual forensic analyst’s career as well as how to use machines such as Mass Spectrometry and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Fluorescence, as well as extraction techniques and finally how to analyze the data they generate.

My job was to perform extractions of lolitrem B, ergovaline, and ergotamine mycotoxins from various grasses used for feeding livestock. The process for one extraction typically took about 3 hours and involved a lot of micropipetting, centrifugation, and drying of solvents on an N-Vap instrument. Measurements had to be extremely precise to obtain accurate results since it was on a microliter level. One tiny little air bubble could ruin the rest of the process and generate inaccurate results!

If it weren’t for the practice and knowledge I obtained from my courses at Embry-Riddle, such as Foundations of Biology 1 and 2, General Chemistry 1 and 2, Organic Chemistry 1 and 2, Microbiology, and Genetics, I would have never been prepared for the massive amounts of micropipetting I had to perform as well as any of the terminology or basic skills needed to achieve good results at my job. My courses gave me the confidence to be successful at the Endophyte Service Lab, and my experience in the lab gave me the confidence and knowledge to further pursue a forensic biology degree.

Study Abroad – Seven GSIS Credits in the United Kingdom

img_2829Marquette Davis
ERAU Summer Abroad 2016
England/United Kingdom

Classes:
Interview Techniques and Tactics
Investigative Methodology and Forensic Science

My name is Marquette Davis and I studied abroad in the United Kingdom for one month in the summer of 2016. Although this program is called a study abroad in England, I say the United Kingdom because in the month that we were there, we were not just in England. We had the opportunity to explore the entire United Kingdom. Many of the locals we met told us, upon hearing our travel plans for the month, we would get to see more of England and more of the UK than they had ever seen and they had lived there their entire lives. Traveling to the big city of London and the small seaside towns of Northern England and Scotland and the historic cities Newcastle, Edinburgh, and Bath, and the scenic towns of Wales, we took part in an awesome adventure all over the United Kingdom. And the greatest part about it was that we could personalize it because we were in our own van. And the second greatest part about it was that we probably walked as many miles as we drove, which made for some incredible and unusual sightseeing.

img_2935Aside from the wonder of all the travel and the cultural experiences we got to partake in, the different foods we tried and the various people we met, it was an intellectually stimulating experience. Completing seven credit hours in one month, every day was busy with classes and homework. Classroom and lab times were never boring and the small class setting made each penny per credit worthwhile. Be warned, however, that the work load was not for the faint of heart. One of the greatest lessons I learned while in England was how to seize the day and make the most of my experiences, meanwhile completing a semester’s worth of school work in four weeks. Sleep became a secondary need. I made the most of my time there and maintained a pleasing grade and still did not have any regrets about any missed opportunities. Even as we traveled, we lived and breathed what we had learned in our classes, making them all the more worthwhile and exciting.
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In addition, we were in the United Kingdom at the time of the mass shooting in Orlando and at the time of the Brexit vote by which the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union. With these events occurring, we were able to experience how a massive tragedy in the U.S. is globally affective. Walking the streets of London, we even came across a banner that read, “We Stand with Orlando.” And we were able to see firsthand the reaction of the UK people to a major national event. Needless to say, with these events taking place and our presidential election upon us, the English people were eager to know our political stances on several issues, including gun laws, nationalism, and Trump/Bernie/Hilary, and they were eager to share their opinions on their own national issues. I had the pleasure, for example, escaping the rain one evening in Bath, to talk to the manager of a shoe store for a brief time who excitedly conversed with me over British and American politics.

This brings me to my next point. Of all the amazing history and incredible places we saw, it was the people that I will remember most and hold most dear to my heart. Granted I came across more rude people than I had ever encountered, but the good outweighed the bad. I will always remember the three locals we shared jokes with at the smallest pub in the UK; the friendly Chinese couple I listened to one of our students practice her Chinese with during high tea on the Thames River; the kind French girl who led our horseback ride along the beach in Inverary, Scotland; the professors at our host university; all our friendly waiters and waitresses; the pub owner who helped us struggle through the Welsh word “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch” for extra credit; the employees of Dunollie Castle who allowed us to conduct a crime scene investigation in the middle of their work day and even participated as witnesses and interviewees; and all others who took our pictures, gave us directions, or made friendly conversation with us on the buses, trains, and planes along the way. I am particularly grateful and would like to give a shout out to the employees of United who were so helpful to me in the airport when I had issues with my flights and had to find my way home. And lastly, in the month I was in England, together in good times and in bad, I developed a relationship with my fellow students and with our professor that I will always cherish. Above all the experiences and sights, it is these people that I will hold dear when I remember my study abroad.

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From my study abroad experience, I gained seven credits toward my degree, friendships I will always be able to turn to with my fellow students, and a mentor that I truly respect in my professor. In addition, as a GSIS student, I achieved my first international experience that I believe has opened the door to many more international travels and potential career opportunities. I discovered the path I want to take in my degree program by taking Interviewing Techniques and Forensic Science and finding out what I really enjoyed to do. I grew as a person, figuring out my way through a foreign country and culture with a group of people that were mostly strangers to me before the study abroad, and was exposed to the diversity that exists just between two English speaking western cultures, really opening my eyes to the incredible diversity that exists globally.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to study in England in the summer of 2016. I will never forget my time there and will eternally appreciate all the incredible experiences.

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Make-A-Wish Internship by Guest Blogger Tiffany Wimenta

TiffanyThis summer I had the privilege of serving as an intern for Make-A-Wish America. Although I did not work directly with wishes (since I was working at the national office), it was still an amazing opportunity to make some real contributions to the mission of the organization — to “grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.” 

Surprisingly, I was able to use my undergraduate education in security and intelligence throughout my internship. You’re probably really confused right about now. Most people are. You’re probably thinking: “What are you doing interning at Make-A-Wish with your educational background? I don’t see the connection. How did you manage to use your education?” I’ll put the pieces together for you friends. I worked a lot with international wishes. Every morning, I came into the office, got my coffee, and pulled up various news sources to monitor what was occurring around the world that may affect international travel or our wish families abroad – so basically, I gave my supervisor situation reports every day. I was able to develop content to help our wish families be safe and knowledgeable while traveling internationally. I also got to work closely with the Rio 2016 Olympics Wishes, creating a detailed situation report on the internal state of Rio and Brazil (including crime, financial crisis, political unrest, and health concerns), the security preparedness for the Olympics, and terrorist developments (threats and arrests) related to the event. Now, I definitely was not expecting to use my education so much during this internship (well, I didn’t expect to at all), but I am glad that it worked out and I was able to make some pretty meaningful contributions to the organization.

In addition to working with international wishes, I was also able to independently develop content for volunteer managers so that they can more easily provide opportunities for youth under the age of 18 to get involved with the organization. You’re probably asking now, “How did you end up there anyway?” Well, I decided to throw my plan for my future away. That’s right, I started from scratch. I decided I didn’t want the life I thought I wanted before. Once that door closed, SO MANY MORE opened. The Peace Corps. Non-Profits. The possibilities seemed endless, which I will admit was TERRIFYING to me. I always had a plan. I always had some idea of where my life was going. I could see it 10, 20, 30 years out. I knew what my life would look like. That fall though, all certainty went out the window.

Eventually, I figured it out (well, for the most part). I have a direction now. Although it may not be 20 years out, at least I know I am going somewhere. I decided that I would like to pursue a masters degree in public policy or public administration with a focus in non-profit organizations, as well as EITHER international development or political decision making (at least, that’s the direction I have at the moment. I still need to feel it all out, but I know the path I am meant to take will reveal itself to me in time and through experience). So back to Make-A-Wish… this was my starting point to my new dreams and goals. AND WHAT AN AMAZING PLACE TO START! I look forward to continuing my relationship with the organization as a Wish Granter Volunteer for the Arizona chapter. I have my training this Saturday!!! It will be such a rewarding experience to work hands-on with granting the wishes of these children.

Tiffany

Other than being able to grow under the wings of this amazing, respectable non-profit organization, I also had the privilege to work alongside passionate, driven people who are dedicated to bringing a little more light into the world. Not only the staff, but my fellow interns made this experience and this summer the best I have had so far. They are friends I hope to keep for a long time. We were a group of people who came from many different backgrounds and experiences in life, in various places in our lives, and who are all very individual in our characteristics; but we became that group of friends that you always hope find. We were there for each other for laughs and tears, in love and heartbreak, for fun and work, to give an encouraging word and the hard truth. I am grateful to have shared this experience with such an amazing group of people who I deeply respect and who I believe will do great things in their lives. I can’t wait to see where our paths lead.

Tiffany

Advice for our Newcomers in 2016!!!

 

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Hey there everyone it’s that time of year again where we welcome our new freshman!! Being a freshman in college can be an uncertain time for those moving far from home so a few upperclassman have contributed to provide our newcomers with some great advice.

From Shelly (Senior) –The major question that freshman always ask me is what they should bring to college. Here is a list of the stuff that I found pretty useful:

  1. Printer
  2. Computer
  3. Earplugs or noise canceling headphones (trust me these are a necessity!!)
  4. A car 🙂
  5. 3 Flash drives (you will probably loose or break one so having back ups is key)
  6. Sturdy Back pack
  7. A few plates, cups, one pot, one pan, and one set of silverware
  8. Pictures of the family
  9. A rain coat and an all weather coat for when it snows
  10. A good pair of boots that can handle rain or snow
  11. Lots of sweaters!!!! (the weather can be crazy cold during the winter)

From Bryan (Junior) — People always ask me what they should get involved in as a freshman so they can make a lot of friends. What I did was join a fraternity, so far its been pretty sweet and I really enjoy it. The fraternity gives me chances to help in the community and connect to other fraternity members in the US. The connections have really helped especially as I am starting to look for jobs and internships. Oh and, getting a job on campus helps a lot too.

It’s me again! I hope that this advice from some of our other upperclassman has helped, please feel free to ask any questions I’m sure I can find someone to answer them for you!!! Thanks for reading 🙂

I’m in Ireland Right Now on Study Abroad!

I love this University, the people in it, and the things I get to do which right now includes the travel portion of my semester-long Ireland course through the College of Security and Intelligence. Follow my Facebook posts below to see what we’ve been doing…and just remember, as a student at ERAU you can do this too!

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Last Fraternity Formal in Las Vegas, NV

When I first arrived to college I never expected to add more members to my family. Growing up I only had to look out for my younger brother who is 4 years younger than me. As I grew older I realized one was all I could probably handle and became very thankful my mom stopped trying for the daughter she always wanted.

When I moved over a thousand miles away from my brother and the comfort, security, and love of my family, I actively sought out a family unit I could truly connect with here at Riddle. Through what I believe was fate, I discovered the greatest family a guy could ever ask for in the men I call brothers of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. Looking out the window of my car glancing over at the sign that reads, “Welcome to the state of Nevada” these very same thoughts made its way back to the forefront of my mind. This was it, my very last fraternity formal as an Embry-Riddle student.

Our group! Austin, Nikki, Dani, Kristen, and Brennan

Our group! Austin, Nikki, Dani, Kristen, and Brennan

Oh my how far we’ve all come as a fraternity. Having over 40 men in my life that I can honestly call my brothers is something I never expected at Embry-Riddle. Being a part of a fraternity has been one of the most challenging, stressful, exciting, and rewarding activities I’ve been able to experience during my time here. This year our fraternity believed it was incredibly important to go big or go home so we planned an extravagant formal in Las Vegas, NV to get everyone out of our normal day to day environment so we could enjoy each other’s company as a brotherhood accompanied by our dates in a city that has been made famous for just having a good time; Laissez les bons temps rouler! As we say in the city of New Orleans, meaning let the good times roll!

Sitting at the dinner table with the men and women that I started my journey here at Embry-Riddle with, that have deservedly become my brothers and sisters, made me realize that I have so much to be thankful for in my life. Here I am 21 years old surrounded by an immense amount of love that has helped get me through my best and my worst days without ever asking for anything in return. I don’t know if this journey would’ve been remotely possible without the great men of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and the woman of Alpha Xi Delta and Alpha Sigma Tau sororities. Even though I didn’t win an award for my last formal (still a little salty about that lol) it was such a rewarding feeling being able to look over at my brothers as a senior knowing that I’ll be leaving this fraternity behind in good hands. It really is true, “Brotherhood is the very price and condition of man’s survival,” Carlos P Romulo.

After this weekend it became evident to me that it wasn’t the city that graciously hosted our formal this year that elevated it to one for the books for our fraternity but that ultimately it was the relationships we have all developed over the years being together along with our impeccable growth as a family that made this year’s Pi Kappa Phi formal one that I will always remember as I get ready to take the next step towards accomplishing the goals I have set for myself in my aviation career. I love my brothers of Pi Kappa Phi Iota Eta chapter and I will forever hold you guys near and dear to my heart for the rest of my life. Thank you for such an unforgettable weekend!

Enjoying our time at formal!

Enjoying our time at formal!

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Me and the beautiful Sophia! Sister of Alpha Xi Delta

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Me and my bestfriend, President of Alpha Xi Delta : Kristen at formal (Mac photo bombing)

Study Abroad in Europe Changed My Life

“When I met you in tRoad Trip to Austria he summer!” This very phrase sums up summer 2014 perfectly for me. The amount of people I’ve been blessed to meet along with the different countries I was able to explore made that summer the journey of a lifetime.

Summer ’14 felt as though I was in my own version of the music video for the song “Summer” by Calvin Harris. This simple phrase carries with it an enormous amount of weight that has left behind a great deal of memories imprinted in my mind and in my heart that will follow me for the rest of my life.

I was looking out the large windows of Chicago O’ Hare International airport at the skyline of the city of Chicago when I noticed the impeccably beautiful Boeing 747 and it finally hit me. This was it, this was the moment I had been waiting for all semester; I was getting ready to depart the United States with my sights set on Europe for an entire month. The class I was attending on this study abroad was Aviation Appreciation, administered by the Daytona Beach campus and serves the sole purpose of educating the student on what and how aviation got started here in the United States as well as overseas through two world wars.

The one thing everyone talks about when they describe their experiences studying abroad is personal growth and embarking on the most fulfilling journey of their lives. I get the chills every time I think back to how much Europe changed me as a person. Being 20 years old at the time, getting an opportunity to live in a foreign country for a month, having to rethink everything I thought I knew about life and navigate around a place I had only seen in movies was the scariest and most rewarding experience of my life.

When I returned to the United States and looked at myself in the mirror for the first time so much had changed. The way I saw the world and what I wanted my future to entail was completely different than what it was when I first began my journey at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University 2 years prior to this trip. Being a guy from New Orleans, LA this type of thing isn’t something anyone expects would ever be possible for him or her. It really was honestly one of the most surreal moments of my life. My eyes were opened wider than they had ever had been. I was now aware and cognizant of different ways of life, culture and people and I couldn’t even begin to imagine how I was going to be able to return to my routine. I had grown so much spiritually and emotionally; I had fallen deeply in love with Europe.

There’s still not a single day that goes by that I don’t think about the times I spent abroad…watching the changing of guards at Buckingham Palace, catching the tube to visit new friends (whom I still talk to two years later), soaking in all of the beauty that Parliament and the London Eye reveal under the dark skies of London, riding up to the top of the Eiffel Tower to check out life altering views of downtown Paris, lying in the grass at midnight to watch the light show dancing up and down the Eiffel Tower flaunting all of its pure iconic beauty, visiting the incredibly heavy and emotional grounds of the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany where you could just feel the empty cold empty dark souls that roamed the grounds of the camp during World War II, getting a chance to ditch an engine and glide over the countryside of Germany with the German Alps at the forefront of my view…

That trip taught me so much about a subject that I’ve been passionate about ever since I could talk and say the word, “airplane”. I learned about the people that live on that side of the world and how they truly perceive the world and how they feel life should be lived. It has helped me become a more well rounded and accepting individual to every different culture and background that I now encounter in my life.

I believe the most valuable benefit of my experience studying abroad was the person I became as a result of being overseas and having to rethink how to navigate through life through everyday activities and responsibilities. I found myself scared yet excited, shocked but intrigued leaving me with a greater since of appreciation for other cultures and their lifestyles. I could not understand that by staying here in my own country studying a particular subject.

This world is so large and truly magnificent and I believe every singe human being owes it to themselves to get out there explore, enjoy, learn, and just take in all that has been given to us to experience. Studying Abroad is truly a life altering experience that is priceless beyond words and should be taken full advantage of. I enjoyed my study abroad experience so much that I am currently in the process of preparing for my second study abroad this summer  the Troubles in Ireland class being administered by Professor Austin. My advice to you is to get out there and take advantage of this beautiful planet we all call home. There’s a whole world out there just waiting for you to discover. You owe it to yourself to discover the mysteries of this life that will help mold and define you as who you were always destined to be in this world. 7f9c8996-dcd4-41a3-b02f-1226dd9a5022 imag0756 img_20140613_220359 IMG_1104

            “Traveling. It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

Study Abroad – The City of Lights: Paris

by guest blogger Alexandra Vinck who is studying abroad in Paris for the spring semester 2016.

French baguettes at the Eiffel Tower! About as Paris as it gets!

French baguettes at the Eiffel Tower! About as Paris as it gets!

It has many names…The City of Lights, The City of Love, but I’m lucky enough to call it home. When I moved to Paris at the beginning of the spring semester, I was ready and excited for a new experience. I had spent two and a half years at school in Prescott, and although I love it there, I wanted to try something new. Paris has turned out to be just that, and then some. Paris is exactly as wonderful as everyone says it is. Every street you walk down is beautiful, and every croissant you taste is better than the last one.

Here's a new friend and I on a school trip to Versailles!

Here’s a new friend and I on a school trip to Versailles!

I get to live my life immersed in culture and thousands of years of history. One of my favorite classes I’m taking here is called the History of Paris through Art and Architecture. So not only do I get lectured on important buildings and works of art, but each week we go to a new part of the city and learn all about it. Paris has a very unique atmosphere, because in addition to being filled with history, it’s full of young people and students just living their lives, which makes the nightlife here pretty fun.

Not only am I able to live in this magical city, but also I get to spend almost every weekend travelling and seeing Europe. So far I’ve been to Madrid, Dublin, Prague,

Skiing in Stockholm, Sweden this past weekend

Bordeaux, Versailles, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. Needless to say, my life here so far has been pretty life changing, and I am forever grateful to the people at Embry-Riddle (Kelly O’Brien) that helped make this happened for me, and of course my parents for giving me the opportunity of a life time! Check out some photos below of my life in Paris and some of my travels. Au revoir!

Not exactly studying in a cafe...but this is a super bowl party at an American bar in Paris! Lauren Holdaway is next to me...she's a Riddle student studying in Ireland! She was in Paris for the weekend.

A super bowl party at an American restaurant in Paris! Lauren Holdaway is next to me…she’s a Riddle student studying in Ireland! She was in Paris for the weekend.

A Week In My Life

Welcome to midterms! It is that time of the semester again, exams are here, and the thought of spring break is the motivation to keep working. Even though I am in the midst of midterms, I thought I would share with you what a week normally looks like for me.
Monday: Most people hate Mondays but for me they are not too bad. My classes start at 9 am and end at 3 pm with a two hour lunch break in the middle. After class, I normally study for an hour and finish homework then have dinner. The evening consists of my sorority Alpha Xi Delta’s chapter meeting, which can be a sisterhood event (fun/bonding time), programs (useful information/most often very funny), or our business meeting (serious). Chapter tends to be fun because I get to start the week with my hilarious sisters by my side.

Sorority Dells
Tuesday: On this day, I have one class and a three-hour lab. My day starts at 6:45 am because I am in class from 7:45 am -12 pm, after that it is off to lunch then I have weekly meetings with my mentor. This year I have become very close with a few leaders in Chi Alpha and they have become my mentors. After my meeting, it is off to the library to study. In the evening, I have Chi Alpha. Every other Tuesday evening we have Tuesday Night Dinner where we carpool over to one of the leaders’ houses, have a home cooked meal, and build some great friendships. On the off Tuesday, I have a leadership meeting, which serves as a time of fellowship with a smaller group of people.

San Diego
Wednesday: I have four classes again. After my last class at 3 pm, I am off to do work and study. After dinner I have a Panhellenic meeting. This year I had the honor to be elected Membership Vice President for the Panhellenic community. So every Wednesday we have our meetings for all Panhellenic chapters as well as a smaller council meeting, which discusses the fun things that we are planning on campus!

Lei, Allie, Megan AXiD
Thursday: This is my easiest day! I have one class which ends at 9 am. After class you can find me doing homework, studying, or going on adventures. This is the day of the week I look forward to the most because it does not have meetings or responsibilities attached, besides one class in the morning. Last week my friends and I ventured out into the dells across the street from campus and found the Red Bridge, which is a little bridge in the center of the dells that is hard to find and a great spot to take picture, we had talked about doing this for weeks.

Red Bridge Allie
Friday: Final day of classes for the week and after 3 pm I am done! Friday evenings you will find me at Chi Alpha’s Elevate and the activity after which ranges from gym night to movie night.

Allies HOme
The Weekend: I clump Saturday and Sunday together because while I have been at school I have had the opportunity to travel throughout Arizona, Utah, and California on the weekends. If I am in town, Saturdays are pretty boring, some homework, hanging out with friends, and most likely an adventure. Sunday includes Church in the morning and brunch with friends, then finishing all the homework I have pushed throughout the week. If I am out of town, weekends are a lot more exciting. Over the last three-day weekend I had the opportunity to travel to San Diego and stay with a friend’s family for the night, the next day we headed to the beach to meet up with Chi Alpha, and on Sunday spend the day at Six Flags with some of my closest friends. Then we crammed back into a car and drove back to campus. The destination changes weekend to weekend, but the memories and friends made will be there forever.

Sunset AXiD

My weeks are crammed packed with class, studying, work, clubs, and meetings. And my weekends are filled with adventure, friends, and memories. It can be hard to find a balance between school and everything else but if you look, plan, and work hard enough you can to do everything that makes you happy. Not everyone’s schedule is as hectic as mine is, while others are even more hectic, it just depends on the person. But remember, school is important, but it’s also important to do what makes you happy to enjoy life at school. School is hard and you need something to work towards, I work towards the weekends where I get to create amazing memories with my friends. What do you work towards?

Three-Day Weekend Trip to San Diego!

As a college student the one thing that everyone anxiously awaits yet doesn’t come around very often is the famous three-day weekend.

Jeffery SD 1Three-Day weekends are a great way for all of us at Riddle to stop and take a deep breath just before things get hectic — the lead up to Midterms. It’s a chance for us to get out and explore and check out more of what the West Coast has to offer. Now for those like me who grew up in a whole other region of the United States (the South in my case) everything on the West Coast fascinates me even after 3 years of living here. It’s absolutely gorgeous and very diverse.

San Diego, CA

San Diego, CA

My friend and I decided to hop in my car and drive about 6 hours West to the beautiful city of San Diego to soak up some much needed sun and escape the winter temperatures in Prescott in exchange for 80-degree heat. Maybe it’s the winter blues but I had been craving the sight of the beach for months and could no longer resist the urge to jump into some nice cool ocean water under some very warm and inviting sun rays. This weekend was perfect for that!

One of the main reasons why I chose to attend the Embry-Riddle Prescott campus over the Daytona Beach campus was because of the campus’ prime location. There are so many incredible opportunities to visit some impeccable places that are perfect when you just need a break from reality.

Jeffery SD 3I was able to fulfill some of my childhood desires on this three-day weekend trip like swimming in the Pacific Ocean for the first time in my life and snorkeling in Mission Bay, well attempted snorkeling until my fear of being in cloudy water started to kick in. I also found a new hobby — paddle boarding!

Before I headed off to college I would’ve never expected that I would experience so many amazing things in my life and accomplish so much at such a young age. This weekend’s trip made it evident to me that I have so many things to be so grateful for and I don’t believe any of this would have been possible if it weren’t for me choosing to study at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and meeting some of the most incredible people I’m so thankful to call my family.