Global Gap Year
A “gap year” is a year or semester that students take off before enrolling in college. “Gappers” typically work to save money, volunteer, intern, or study a language abroad.
Taking a gap year has earned a bad rap over the years because it can often turn into a “wasting time at home” year. Not so with 2017 graduate Maxine Anderson. Because of the self-paced nature of the Delphi Program™, Maxine graduated at 16 years old and was able to plan a gap year for the record books. Following graduation, Maxine wasted no time in creating a plan that would not only help her explore her interests and passions, but would also take her to remote locales where she could make a difference. “When designing a gap year, it’s important to plan ahead and decide what you want to create so it’s structured enough to get something out of it,” says Maxine.
Maxine was able to slow down, take a breath and dive into areas she doesn’t think she would have had time for if she had gone straight to college at such a young age. For instance, she read fifteen books spanning multiple genres, from Orwell on Truth to Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. She then took a painting course, a class on advertising and branding and another on social entrepreneurship where her true passion really ignited. “A person changes a lot in a year so this has given me time to really explore what I’m interested in.”
Recently, Maxine took on the role of International Youth Ambassador at the non-governmental organization Youth For Human Rights International (YHRI). YHRI educates youth around the world on the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
YHRI’s primary financial supporter asked Maxine to travel with her to Costa Rica as the representative for youth protecting human rights, launching their Youth for Human Rights International 2018 world tour. Maxine, along with YHRI’s executive team, met with Oscar Arias Sánchez (two time former President of Costa Rica & Nobel Peace Prize winner) and obtained his public and political support for this program. She then traveled around to multiple schools in Costa Rica with YHRI’s Costa Rican educators, delivering speeches to thousands of students about the importance of being advocates for tolerance and peace, teaching others about their human rights, and taking responsibility for creating a world where every individual can prosper. Over a hundred student volunteers signed up to work as human rights educators. Maxine says, “Holding this youth leadership role, I see a lot of opportunity to help create a world where human rights are an honest fact for all and not an idealistic dream for some.”
Maxine plans to attend college in the fall of 2018, majoring in social entrepreneurship. She has already been accepted to Babson College and offered a highly competitive scholarship given to only 25 women. She also has her eye on Claremont McKenna, Brown, Vassar and several others as well. Regardless of the college she ultimately attends, Maxine says, “As I continue to chart this territory that comes with starting a new venture, I have used my mistakes as catalysts for intelligent growth. Delphian gave me the skills to structure, plan and challenge myself during my gap year. I have the tools and the freedom to make things happen and create a life of my own design where I am the driver.”