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Monday, January 31, 2011 12:27 AM
Dear Dean Pitman,
My name is Jen, and I am a junior geology major at the University of Idaho. I was fortunate enough to have been chosen earlier this school year to be an ASB international volunteer in Cobquecura, Chile.
The University of Idaho is the fourth higher education institution that I have attended, and the only one with such a well-funded Alternative Service Breaks program. I know that my experiences in Chile have changed my life- not only did I come back to the States with a renewed passion for learning, but I have a new perspective that has been influencing many aspects of my life, particularly the parts that I put on hold when I went to Chile. With around three weeks of my winter break, I was able to volunteer in a foreign country with an amazing group of peers and feel like I was living a meaningful life, not only as a University of Idaho student or volunteer, but as a global citizen.
I understand that many other universities in the United States don't place so much value on service work, but I am so grateful that this University does. That is why the purpose of this letter, Dean Pitman, is to above all to say thank you. It is my understanding that you have championed the ASB Program for quite some time, and without your support, I would not have the renewed perspective and life outlook that I do now. This may sound a tad dramatic, but the differences in my personality and attitudes are not short term. They are lasting changes that were the direct result of new life experiences and humbling challenges, and I can't thank you enough for that opportunity. I wish that I could more eloquently show my thanks, but I know that you are busy, and this letter has rambled on for quite some time already. But please know, with all honesty, that this program, and this institution, have inspired me. I am going to do my best to use this newfound passion to make positive changes in my community, and lend a helping hand closer to home. I can only hope that I will reflect positively on the University of Idaho and the ASB Program, because they have both served to open my eyes.