Meet the Field Advisors: Hillevi Johnson

By: Hillevi Johnson | January 10, 2020
Topics: Staff Spotlights
Nothing is more exciting than when someone loves being a Field Advisor so much that they return to lead another group. We're thrilled to welcome Hillevi back for her second Winterline experience, and to find out what she loves most about this program.

We’re so happy to welcome Hillevi back as a Field Advisor! You can read her original spotlight here, and read on to learn even more about Hillevi.

What made you decide to return as a Field Advisor?

Falling in love with so many different aspects of the Winterline experience made it very easy to return. I watched my previous students transform before my eyes as they leapt outside of their comfort zones, fostered deep connections with each other, and really evaluated who they are now and who they want to be in the future. To have had any kind of hand in that process felt really special to me, and I didn’t have to think twice about committing to another wonderful group.

Where are you most excited about returning to this year?

I previously worked with Trimester 1, so I am SO excited to be with students as they move through Trimesters 2 and 3. Since the African countries are a recent option within the Winterline gap year itinerary, I’m most excited to see how students respond to what they’ll see, learn, and experience in Rwanda and South Africa. winterline, field advisor, Hillevi Johnson

What’s your favorite part about working with the Winterline students?

The energy, hope for the future, and excitement of this age group is so fantastic. Students are often bursting at the seams with ideas, passions, and motivations. They inspire me on the daily and reinforce my core values. Winterline students are unique, brave, and willing to take a path less traveled in order to live deeply. That speaks volumes to me.

What’s your favorite skill to learn/teach on Winterline?

Getting SCUBA certified with students last year was an absolute treat, even though it really challenged me individually! As far as teaching, I really enjoy facilitating dialogues and activities that center on identity, intersecting identities, and personal values. Some really incredible conversation and bonding tends to happen during these, and I find them to be so powerful. Also, I know American Sign Language and love to teach signs when students are interested in learning! winterline, field advisor, Hillevi Johnson

What’s something new you learned last year as a Field Advisor that you’re most excited to use again this year?

This is a bit of an abstract answer, but I’m most excited to use my knowledge of the first Trimester and what my new student group has likely already seen and experienced together. Stepping in as a Trimester 2/3 Field Advisor is an exciting challenge because the group is already bonded and familiar with each other. I’m really excited to dive in with my squad in new countries and skills having the experience that I do with a Trimester 1 group.

Have you traveled anywhere new since you wrapped up your last Winterline gap year?

Yes! I spent three recent months working with American study abroad students in the Greek city of Thessaloniki. It was wonderful to get to know so many different corners of mainland Greece, especially nature locations that are lesser-known to international visitors. I also got to explore Sofia and Plovdiv, Bulgaria. winterline, field advisor, Hillevi Johnson

Tell us a new fun fact about yourself!

While living in Greece, I ran my first international half-marathon (third total)! Running is usually my go-to exercise during travel and it’s extremely meditative for me. winterline, field advisor, Hillevi Johnson

 

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