I have learned so much about sustainable development, community-building, and cultural humility. There were many moments in time when I doubted myself and my ability to succeed and meet the expectations of the community. I am very thankful to the FSD team for guiding me through this process. As an outsider, I realize that I am quite naive in many ways and I still have so much to learn about the rest of the world. I am aware of my privilege of living in a western country where education and healthcare are much more readily accessible than in other parts of the world. Although I struggled on numerous occasions, I am thankful to Margaret for always giving me confidence and reassurance. I have learned to be independent, to make my own judgment, and to be responsible for my own choices- regardless of the outcome. I have always set high expectations for myself and I have learned that sometimes, we can only be facilitators. Through exposure to international development, I have learned that what I do not know is an opportunity, a chance to invest in research and that sometimes, I only need to take something “small” and do it well.
Name: Mellisa Yuen - Northwestern University