Alumni stories

Naraa, a Humphrey fellow from Cornell

I am Naraa, a Humphrey fellow at Cornell in 2009-2010 academic year. It was very special and important year in my life. There were many impressive moments, but here I would like to share one experience that remained in my mind most vivid and that made a strong impression in me.

It was a warm autumn day when 11 Humphrey fellows of Cornell University (2009-2010) were taken to a Challenge course camp to have fun and build team spirit.

We were invited to six various exercises that we either performed as a group or in pairs. The most challenging of all was to climb to approximately 12 meters tall pole that equals to the 4th floor of a build-ing. Task for us was to equip ourselves with safety measures, and then climb to the top. At the top of the pole, having made a straight posture to jump to catch four ropes hanging in 2 meters distance (in the air).

It was a big challenge first, to climb because the steps were far apart from each other, then to balance oneself on the top of the pole, as the top of the pole is thinner and shaking a lot. Jumping to catch the rope required courage, and of course the ability to jump in long dis-tance. Regardless, most of us completed the task, some catching one rope and some all four ropes. For most of us it was an extremely challenging exercise, but it reflected the road we all take and the barriers in it for all of us to reach our goals and not give up. The course in my mind was a good representation of our Humphrey experience because it was fun, challenging, instructive, and most rewarding when completed.

My Humphrey year was a once-in a lifetime experience and it gave me an opportunity to professionally grow and build networks.

After the exercises everyone shared what he/she felt and thought being on the top of the pole. In my opinion, standing on the top of the pole, I felt the ladder was the road I walked as an individual until that point and the pole top as the Humphrey program from on top of which I could review and assess my goals and dreams.