Name: Andrew Goodrum

Hometown: Freeport, Bahamas

Current Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Relationship to VISIONS: Participant on four different VISIONS programs


What does your life look like now?

I’m currently a junior at the University of Michigan studying Spanish and Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience in Ann Arbor.


What is it like to walk in your shoes every day?

My days start with me working in a cancer research lab for three hours before heading to class. After class, you can find me in the library finishing homework and hiding from the cold.

What does the word community mean to you?
To me, the word community is closely related to comfort. I believe in order for someone to feel a strong sense of community, they need to be comfortable with the people they’re surrounded by. The only way to achieve this is to step outside your comfort zone in the beginning. Before you know it, you’ll feel a connection with the community you’re in. As with all the VISIONS programs I’ve been on, it’s always bittersweet leaving because you’ve developed a relationship to the community and the people within.


What was most memorable about your VISIONS experience?
On the Myanmar program we stayed at a monastery school with 7,000 students. One of the weekends we travelled into the mountains of Myanmar with a group of the students from the school. We got to connect with these students on a deeper, far more personal level. They were with us everywhere we went and it was as if they were friends we had known for months. While there was sometimes a language barrier, the mutual respect we had for one another is unforgettable.

What did the VISIONS experience teach you about yourself?
VISIONS taught me to be a lot more appreciative of everything I have in my life and to stop dwelling on the small things in life. Focus on the future because if you keep looking back you’re going to trip going forward.

What is something that makes you hopeful for the future?
Knowing that my future is almost entirely in my control pushes me to work harder and achieve any and every goal I ever set myself.

What do you feel is one of your greatest strengths that you have to offer the world?
I root for the underdog. Whether it’s a soccer game, school election or job position, I pull for the person who I think is most deserving.

In what ways, big or small, would you like to change the world?
I think by spreading positive vibes everywhere I go, people will feed off that energy and learn to treat others like they want to be treated. One of the biggest problems today is that people don’t treat each other nice enough.

What would you like to be remembered for in your life?
I would like to be remembered as someone who gives back to the community even when I’m not necessarily in a position to give.

What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
I hope to be working in the criminal justice industry as a public defender or something along those lines.

What would you like to say to other members of the VISIONS community?
Use your experiences and memories with VISIONS to reflect on yourself as an individual and to strengthen your character.

VISIONS in The New York Times