In March 2009, I embarked as a Youth Ambassador for the YCI Ghana program. Prior to YCI I had experience volunteering internationally as an indepedent. At 19 years old I went to Vietnam to volunteer in a school for street youth, as well as the hearing impaired, and when I was 23 years old I had gone to Bangladesh as a CIDA intern.
So, I felt prepared to go to Ghana and offer my experience in the work project. However, little did I know the plethora of surprises that were in store for me as a new YCIer. The joys of living and working in a group astounded me – and the challenges of being part of a team made me grow as a person. With all the obstacles and successes of a work project, I was able to discover my leadership style in a group situation, specifically in the context of international development. I made solid friendships (and not so solid ones), and came to know myself as a team member and not solely as an individual.