Hey, hi, hello! My name’s Julie and it’s great to to meet you! I’m from Brazil but I was born and raised in Miami, Florida and I wouldn’t change that for anything. Truly, it’s one of the most unique yet beautiful places in the world. Since I can remember I’ve always had my nose in a book and spent a lot of time focusing on school and learning (which i love so much). I also adore traveling and seeing the world, although, if I’m being honest, I haven’t done very much. Fun fact about me: if you can name a sport, I’ve probably tried it at least once. Tennis, lacrosse, field hockey, equestrian, basketball, soccer, the list goes on. I’ve done it all. Some of my most cherished memories from childhood come from me playing sports, though I was only ever actually good at gymnastics, which i did competitively for many years and lead to a later opportunity for me to join my high school cheer team. I’ve always been really physically active, but that’s definitely slowed during quarantine.
That being said, my whole life has been centered around experiencing different cultures. Even though I haven’t spent much time outside of my birthplace, in Miami you don’t have to travel far to experience new cultures outside of your own. One turn around the corner and you can find a Cuban or a Haitian or a Columbian or really just anyone with a story that isn’t your own but that’s willing to share with you who they are and what they love. To put into context, I’m a Brazilian that grew up in a Greek and then later Puerto Rican household who has gone to a Hebrew school and lived in a majority Venezuelan town with best friends that are Cuban and Honduran. My experiences have grown my love for people and stories but most especially language. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that language brings people together and connects them with an indescribable bond.
As of right now, my goal for my gap year is to move to Italy. I say “as of right now” only because the world is unpredictable, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more so. I have many hopes but above all safety is most important. Following my interests, I want to use my gap year to travel to places I’ve never seen like Europe and learn languages I’ve never been exposed to. I chose Italy in specific because of my mom. Younger than I am now, she immigrated to this country by herself. Not only do I want to follow in her footsteps and make her proud of my independence, but she’s also worked very hard and never seen the other side of the world. I’d like to take her with me at some point and be able to show her around like she does her own mom. In Italy I plan to practice and master Italian, learn about art, architecture, and history, and give back as much as I can. When I reflect at the end of this year, I just wish that that version of me was able to absorb anything and everything and grow to become a better person than I am now.