Being part of the Compassionate Leaders Program established my interest in travel, my eternal love and fascination for India, and my desire to give back to the world. Through my experience with the Flourish Foundation, I was introduced to the incredible vastness of the world and methods to cultivate my own mentality, balance, and compassion. I am currently a junior at Long Island University Global working on my B.A. in Global Studies. LIU Global is a four-year undergraduate abroad program based on the idea of experiential education. So far in my studies I have visited six countries and carried out two field based research projects, the first in Costa Rica regarding the use of meditation as a form of alternative health care and the second in Taiwan focusing on the ethics of travel and cultural representation. For my senior research semester next year, I am planning to carry out a research project at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India focusing on the effects of meditation and yoga on educational development. After I graduate, I would like to do a masters program in psychology or brain and cognitive sciences. As is evident, my experience with the Flourish Foundation and the Compassionate Leaders Program has inspired me to learn more about contemplative practice and service.
The Compassionate Leader Program has been a huge blessing in my life. One of the most valuable things this program has taught me is how to be compassionate towards myself, as well as others. This skill has helped me through the first semester of college and all the struggles that came with it. This program is a completely unique experience and has brought many incredible people into my life.Coming into the program, I expected our service trips to be about doing charity work for other people. However, the people I have met on our community service trips to India and Mississippi have given me so much more than I have given them. They have brought lessons and values into my life that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
After moving to college and having a pretty rocky start, I can really see how the Compassionate Leaders Program has affected my attitude and outlook on life in a million positive ways. I would have to say that one of the biggest lessons that has stuck with me from the Compassionate Leaders Program is that “Everybody is searching for their own happiness.”This lesson has taught me to be a more patient, generous and understanding person. Whenever I feel down or misunderstood, I think back to our discussions about happiness and feel that life around me makes a little more sense. The Flourish Foundation team is the most dedicated, ambitious and inspiring team of which I have been ever so lucky to be apart.
The Compassionate Leaders Program has taught me how to be a responsible, active, and compassionate global citizen. It gave me humility, balance, and awareness of each person’s shared humanity. I am filled with gratitude that I am able to take these attributes and lessons out into the world and inspire change among a global community. My ability to lead a purposeful life, accept challenges with alacrity, and extend my compassion without bounds is due to Flourish Foundation and the Compassionate Leaders Program.
The Compassionate Leaders Program isn’t just a program but a family of people with different backgrounds that come together and share similar values. This is a family that I have become very fond of and one that has been extremely influential in my life. As a young high school student, I was given a voice and the opportunity to show the world what I have to offer. This allowed me to grow and gain confidence in the person I was becoming. Along with putting hope into young people, CLP gave me tools for all types of life situations that I would not have learned in school. I learned that true happiness can only come from within me, that the cultivation of my mind is the strongest tool I will ever have against the world, and most importantly, that I create my reality so I can choose to make my life one full of joy or one full of sadness. The understanding and compassionate person that I am today was able to blossom with the help of people who give their time to share their life experiences as well as a life long journey.