Carey J. ALG Personal Statement

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Jordan Carey
Adventure Learning Grant Application
Personal Statement
Getting By: A Socio-Journalistic Examination of Public Transportation as a Microcosm of
Human Life in Singapore, Portugal, and Ireland
Due to the pandemic’s unpredictable nature, Adventure Learning Grant recipients must
be exceptionally flexible, creative, and optimistic. My adaptability, capacity to brainstorm
creative solutions, and dedication to making the most of all situations make me an ideal
candidate for this year particularly. Quarantine has given me the extra push to make the most of
each day, challenge my boundaries, and see as much of the world as possible. Throughout my
life, I have witnessed my father benefit from enriching friendships with international students
from college, and am inspired to also make lifelong friends all over the world. Receiving an
Adventure Learning Grant would give me the space to practice courage, self-sufficiency, and
self-direction. Furthermore, I could immerse myself in foreign cultures, challenge my perceived
comfort zone, and gain real world learning experience in socio-journalism—the creative field I
am called to.
I am accustomed to being surrounded by people with different beliefs, as I have attended
public, Jewish, and Catholic schools in addition to growing up in heterogeneous Oakland,
California. Living and going to school alongside people with extremely diverse life experiences
introduced me to a variety of perspectives and exemplified the beauty, power, and necessity of
multiculturalism. Once, I walked past my neighbor’s house and they were roasting a goat in their
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garage in preparation for an Ethiopian holiday. It was awesome. The diversity I have been lucky
to benefit from has taught me that there is always more to learn about the world.
Not only do I appreciate being immersed in diverse perspectives, but I gravitate towards
discomfiting circumstances. Experiencing the power of exposure therapy firsthand showed me
that uncomfortable situations are imperative for the growth, development, and learning that
makes life meaningful. I crave the feeling of immersing myself in discomfort and demonstrating
that I am braver and stronger than I perceive.
I am confident that my project is a perfect fit for my open-minded, determined, proactive
self. I am unusually observant, so I naturally notice everyone, especially those on the outskirts of
social situations. My best quality is the ability to draw people in, making them feel included and
never judged. I value being thoughtful and respectful towards those around me, especially if I am
a visitor. Also, it is difficult for me to feel discouraged. If something does not go well, I use my
growth mindset to learn from it and do better next time. Turning unforeseen circumstances into
spontaneous adventures is what I am naturally comfortable with, but I can plan and be organized
when needed. I am confident advocating for myself, being honest and direct with others, and
proactively seeking out opportunities—all essential qualities for solo travelers.
I have always yearned for education that is more hands-on than typical schooling. I am
exponentially more curious, engaged, and fulfilled when I learn by doing and experiencing. My
favorite classes at Western have been Scott Terrell’s “Newswriting” course and Stan Tag’s
“Poetry” course, because we learned by creating. I can only imagine how much more I will learn
while abroad and outside the traditional schooling environment. The Adventure Learning Grant
fits perfectly into my educational goals and learning style.
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Being forced to repeatedly confront unpredictable and difficult situations as a camp
counselor at Urban Adamah (a Jewish urban farm) played a significant role in cultivating my
growth mindset. My supportive co-workers encouraged me to use every troubling instance as an
opportunity to practice different approaches and develop conflict resolution skills. Furthermore,
Urban Adamah’s mere existence has shown me that I can establish myself at intersections others
have yet to imagine, and if the right opportunity does not exist, I have the power to create it.
Similar to Urban Adamah’s fusion of sustainable agriculture with Jewish tradition and social
action, my proposal weaves together my passions at an intersection that does not seem to yet
exist. I hope sharing my unique utilization of the Adventure Learning Grant inspires other
Fairhaven students to invent their own intersections.
My positive attitude this past year exemplifies my resilience and drive to make the most
of subpar circumstances. For example, my housemates and I cooked fifty servings of chili and
cornbread for the homeless encampment at City Hall (Camp 210), which we might not have had
time for before quarantine. Pre-pandemic, I would opt for less time-intensive social action, such
as donating online. Seizing the opportunity to give back in a more tangible way empowered me,
strengthened my connection to the Bellingham community, and demonstrated how community
involvement simplifies complex tasks. Similarly, I began volunteering as a grant-writing intern
for the nation’s first tiny house village for homeless youth. Just last week, a law firm donated a
grant because of my persistent emails and phone calls. This experience motivated me even more
to use my voice and privilege for good, never getting discouraged.
I have never lived or studied abroad, but I have been lucky enough to visit Japan, Costa
Rica, and Israel. Experiencing more of the world humbles me and connects me to my core
values: thoughtfulness, openness, and curiosity. Although these visits nourished my sense of
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adventure, they left me hungry for more. I can only imagine how much more culturally
immersed and fulfilled I will feel after spending multiple months abroad.
Obviously, the pandemic might limit my ability to take full advantage of the
opportunities provided by an Adventure Learning Grant; However, my resilience, motivation,
and adaptability make me confident that nothing will not stop me from learning about other
cultures and challenging my perspectives. If my only options are virtual interviews, virtual
museum tours, and traveling the world by Google Street View, I will do so with the same
excitement and dedication that I would with a typical in-person experience. The only other
factors with the potential to limit me are anxiety and being a solo female traveler. Luckily, my
anxiety has nothing to do with being socially adventurous, but my slight fear of heights would
make visiting Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands rooftop pool less enjoyable. Additionally, I chose
three highly safe countries to ensure that my 5’1” self will be able to take advantage of all
awaiting opportunities.