This year I decided to take a gap year to study in Jerusalem before attending Tufts University. I am part of a program of 39 American and Israeli teenagers studying, volunteering and interning together. Each day here reaffirms my decision to take time to develop my interests before diving into college life. I have been studying Jewish philosophy and texts alongside a wide range of people who constantly force me to question my own ideas and truths. Twice a week I volunteer with Eritrean refugees at an after school program. We are building personal bonds with them and it feels good to be a steady force in their lives. I am so grateful to MVYouth for giving me the opportunity to spend time learning about myself, my culture and my interests so I will be more mature and ready to fully seize my college experience next fall when my scholarship officially begins.