dominguez ponce_marianaDear Contributor,

When this year began I had no idea about the amazing things I was going to experience. Even when I applied for the National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) scholarship, I had no clue about the impact that the Science camp was going to have on my life. As I left Bolivia and got into the plane many emotions came to me, I was leaving my home, my country, family and friends for the first time and I didn’t know what to expect. The only thing I knew was that I was obviously going to a science camp. I was nervous because I was adventuring alone into a different place, full of new people and things that I didn’t know. Throughout my flight, it never came to my mind that going back home and leaving camp was going to be a hundred times more emotionally difficult than leaving home.

The time I spent at camp was by far the best month of my life. I met people from all around the world, people who came from different places, in different sizes and skin colors, who had different beliefs and culture, but where just like me. I could spend hours talking to this incredible people about things that actually matter in life. Many things changed about the way I view the world in the past month. From lectures and Directed Studies, outdoor camp experiences and concerts in a cave, they all helped me realize things I didn’t know about myself.

The only thing I can say is Thank You. If it wasn’t for you I would had never lived this amazing experience. Having the opportunity to be with people that feel passion for science and being able to talk to students with the same interests, to hear from teachers about their experiences and learn from their wisdom helped me prepare for my future life, for the path that I will start building once I graduate, for the life I want to have. I would never be able to express in words how grateful I am for the support you make for the National Youth Science Camp. I know I am not the only person that camp touched my heart and will always be an important part of my life. I hope you continue with your help for Science Camp that will continue to impact many more people in the future. Again, Thanks!!!

Mariana Dominguez Ponce, Bolivia 2011