Ashley Robinson, a 2017 Westfield Area High School graduate, had the opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Adventures “India: Service Through the Lens” program this past July after receiving Westfield Area School District’s Service Abroad Scholarship.

Westfield graduate travels to India with Global Leadership Adventures

This past July, I had the privilege to travel to India with the Global Leadership Adventures “India: Service Through the Lens” program. Thanks to an anonymous donor, students involved in foreign language classes at Westfield Area High School were able to apply for a scholarship for the opportunity to travel with a GLA program of their choice.

The program description outlined experiencing the diverse country of India while learning about photo-journalism and volunteering with local school children in the village of Dharamsala. I have always had a passion for photography, travel and teaching kids so I couldn’t wait to combine the three with this trip across the world.

After saying goodbye to my friends and family and taking two eight-hour flights, I made it to Delhi, India. I met the other 24 students and our wonderful advisors.

Immediately I felt at home and couldn’t wait for the next two weeks. The next day we took a short flight from Delhi down into the Himalayan Mountains where we would be staying for most of the trip.

Our home base was in the beautiful village of Dharamsala where I experienced Indian cuisine, attempted communicating in the Hindi language and learned about the local culture. I was able to love on dogs at an animal shelter, visit temples, dance to Indian music, make life-long friends with fellow students, improve my photography and videography skills and experience breathtaking scenery. It was here I would be introduced to some of the most beautiful, kind, and joyful people I have ever met.

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