At graduation this year, our students not only celebrated completing their program, but also presented “story slams” about their time abroad. Story slams are brief presentations highlighting students’ favorite moments during their gap year. These presentations were given in front of everyone at graduation as a final part of the program.
Thinking about taking a gap year too?
We are so proud of our students for their ability to express themselves and command a room. The following photos and videos are highlights from the story slams and graduation ceremony. We hope you enjoy!
Blue Cohort Story Slams
The day kicked off with story slams from our Blue Cohort. Elaine was the first to present. She told us about her adventures bungee jumping on a rest day in Costa Rica. Her advice? “Don’t tell people your plans before you go bungee jumping. They will spend all of the time leading up to you going trying to scare you.” Despite her friends trying to scare her, we can tell she had a blast! In Samir’s clip above, he highlights the importance of experiential learning. We have to say, we are very impressed with our students polished public speaking skills. It’s clear that we have some great presenters, and possibly some future stand-up comedians, in our newly graduated class!
While some students chose to talk about activities and experiences, Meagan chose to talk about the relationships she made within her cohort. The blue squad’s “Girl Gang” was a tight knit group of all the girls from the Blue Cohort and the Blue Field Advisors Erica and Patrick. Meagan told us about how having such a solid support group changed her life. She also shared many funny stories about their time traveling abroad.
Fellow girl gang member, Savannah, honored those who had mentally and physically supported her during her gap year by naming the best piggy back ride providers. Winners included Erica, Patrick, Meagan and Whitaker who received the participation award. Dini spoke after Savannah, highlighting her time in Costa Rica at the environmentally conscious and sustainable community, Rancho Mastatal. She also shared her singing talents with us. Check out the video below!
Green Cohort Story Slams
Blue’s story slams were followed by the Green Cohort. Andrew was the first up for green. He kicked the group off on a fantastic note and was followed by Alice, who made everyone laugh while she recounted her story of falling off a bike in Cambodia. (She didn’t get hurt, we promise!)
Patrick shared how sports allowed him to connect across cultures while traveling the world. Through watching and playing sports with the people he met abroad, Patrick was able to form new relationships. Following Patrick, Hayden shared with us what she would tell her past self about taking a gap year. At the start of the program she wrote herself a letter which she shared with us. Now at the end of the program she wrote her past self a reply.
For the graduation ceremony itself, students were called up individually and presented with a khata. A khata is a traditional Tibetan scarf that is symbolic of purity and compassion. It is common for these to be worn at major life events, like graduations. After receiving their khata, our students were given their diplomas and were honored by their Field Advisors and other Winterline staff.
After the ceremony, we took group photos of our students and celebrated with a reception. For more graduation photos be sure to check out our Facebook album here.
Want to hear first hand from a Winterline alum? We’re always happy to set up prospective students with alumni for them to get a better understanding of our program. If you have any questions about the Winterline program or would like to be connected with an alumni, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Applications are open for our Fall 2018 Gap Year program. Now through May 25th we are offering $1000 off in honor of gap year decision day.