We liked this email from our archives from a Participant to her Guadeloupe leaders because she shares an unusually helpful bonus she got from her teen summer travel to VISIONS Guadeloupe.

Dear Annie and Ryan,

I have been meaning to email both of you over the past week and I’m sorry that I didn’t get around to it sooner. I just wanted to say a quick hello and let you know how much you both influenced me this summer and how I will always remember our tip to Guadeloupe as one of the most special moments in my life. I truly enjoyed every minute of it and I will never forget either one of you and how much you’ve impacted me.

I also decided to write this email for another reason, in addition to pure thanks. I recently went to a college interview, and I was presented with the question: “how would your friends describe you?” I was so thrilled to…have adjectives that were intelligent and creative to tell the interviewer. I felt that not only did the adjectives I [received] in Guadeloupe describe me very well but also they let the interviewer know exactly how [others perceive me], which I thought was completely innovative and wonderful. Therefore, I wanted to let you know how beneficial the activities in bilan [circle meeting] were for me, and how bilan as a whole really added to my life and can also impact my life in the future greatly.

I miss you both a lot, and it’s barely been a week, and I’m already craving for kitchen duty and 5:45 wakeup call! Please keep in touch. I would love to know what you have planned for the future and what you’re up to now!!

Love always,

Emily Bauersfeld (Guadeloupe 2008)

VISIONS in The New York Times