Beautiful Boston, Massachusettes. Part of the United States’ New England territories, and one of the oldest cities of the country. Boston is also home to the Red Sox, clam chowder, Harvard University, and the world-renowned Boston College – a school of high caliber that molds young minds into critical thinking adults. Boston College partnered with The Protégés’ program to host the Generation 6 (G6) students for two weeks out of their six-week journey.
When The Protégés did Boston, they did it with gusto. With boarding accommodation at Boston College, the students would reconvene daily to engage in activities, experience lectures, and meet role models similar to all that they had experienced at home in Kuwait, yet in an entirely different environment which gave them even more perspective. They were exposed to the realities of a culture and an everyday life that occurs on the opposite side of the globe, which widened their horizons.
The students departed for Boston from Kuwait International Airport on Day 11 of their Protégés journey. Upon arriving at their new digs the following day, they started their Boston trip out with a bang. They engaged in daily 6am drama therapy sessions with Fatmah Al-Qadfan, an Intensive Individual Support Provider who taught them the value of starting their days off on an energetic and positive note, and even met Pulitzer Prize winning author Paul Harding, the author of Tinkers – one of the many novels that made the The Protégés’ recommended reading list.
The students also learned to give back to the community in Boston. They were taken to Haley House Bakery Café, a social enterprise that is part of a larger non-profit organization, Haley House, and that is designed to train the underprivileged for job opportunities. At Haley House, the enlightened Protégés were able to meet with formerly incarcerated convicts who they trained and employed for a shot at a second chance in life and to make a positive difference.
But it wasn’t all work for the Protégés, there was a lot of exploring to be done as well! They visited the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where they toured beautiful and comprehensive North American art, expanding to the culture they were exposed to while visiting the United States.
They were also extremely lucky to visit Harvard University, one of the world’s top universities that only a handful of people are admitted into—where they engaged in a replayed TedTalk lecture given by original speaker Dr. Donna Hicks herself, which taught them another notable life essential: dignity. At Harvard, they were also able to engage in a lecture given by Dr. Hicks about negotiation and reasoning skills, which prepped them for a lesson about market plans and the guiding principles for entrepreneurs seeking the transform their idea into a product or service with a “go to market strategy”.
On their last day, amidst a leadership seminar led by mentors, they were given a task to reflect on, write down and present the valuable lessons they had learned at that point in the program. With a lot of gratitude expressed to the college and the mentors, their expression of what they had learned was incredibly deep, and upon completing this segment of the program in the fashion of a ceremony held for them at the College, they reflected on all that was learned and how they can improve.
Though the students cherished each moment of the Boston trip, the highlight that had proven to be most memorable was the “climbing activity.” G6 took a day trip to the Metrorock Climbing Center, where they engaged in some indoor rock climbing that taught them to overcome their fears. “This was my favorite moment in the program,” stated Protégé Fatma Al Mazyad, “specifically when walking on the rope, I felt strong when everyone sang “happy birthday” to encourage me because I was afraid. I loved this moment because it pushed my limits and it made me face my fear, and when I jumped in the end I was proud of myself for accomplishing this! I faced my fear, and this means a lot to me.”
The Protégés ended the trip on a reflective note, where they ventured out to one of the most beautiful islands in the North American region, Martha’s Vineyard, to work together and reflect on their legacy in unison, and how they can help propel their beloved nation’s momentum of change. “Before this journey, I was just breathing – now, I’m living. Before this journey, I was holding my feelings, now, I let them go and always will. Before this journey, I used to capture the moments… now, I live them.”- Hawraa Al Mutawa – G6
Are you 16-24 and want to be a Protégé for life? Apply now for G7 Summer 2017 at www.theproteges.org