This trip has been the trip of a lifetime. I was skeptical about going at first because I was leaving home to go by myself, but it was one of the best decisions I have made. I was blown away by the amount of fun I had and the memories that I will cherish in my heart forever. I am thrilled that I got to see the west coast with an amazing group of girls and equally amazing chaperones.
I can’t just pick one moment where I had the best time. There are too many. However, one of my favorite memories of this trip is when we went to Pier 39 and the Golden Gate Bridge. We went sightseeing and shopping for souvenirs and I got to see things I never thought I would see, like a huge group of sea lions sun bathing right off of the pier. It was so serene and peaceful there that it reminded me of a movie scene.
My second favorite memory are the business meetings that we attended on Friday. The meeting with Brad Smith at Intuit was so encouraging to me as a young adult and he taught me quite a few things. He showed me that there is more to work than just showing up, making money, and going home every day. You can make every day special by setting goals and achieving and also helping your coworker achieve their goals as well. He taught me that creating personal relationships with your coworkers and staff is very important and it creates a positive atmosphere where individuals can thrive and do their best at their job. Finally, he taught me that you are never too high up in a company to let people know that you care and that you want them to be the best person that they can be. Mr. Brad Smith was so humble and easy to relate to. I really enjoyed my time with him and I will remember that interaction hopefully for the rest of my life.
I don’t think there was any part of the trip that I did not like and I say that quite honestly. Everyone was easy-going and relaxed that it calmed my nerves about being away from my parents on the other side of the country. I really appreciate everyone’s positive attitudes to each other and to the adults.
I have a lot of things I will take away from this trip, both academically and psychologically. I learned so much about the business world and how you can take any problem and create something to fix that problem. I also learned that with hard work and determination, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. This has made me grow as a person in a better way and I’m leaving this experience with a new outlook on life and a heart full of good memories. I feel so blessed to be a part of the StandWatch Academy.
Lastly, I would like to say thank you to Mr. Zac Northup for allowing me to come on this trip. Before we left for California, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do after high school. I was going back and forth between two very different options: dietetics and psychology. Through this experience and the opportunities given to me by this experience, I solidified my college and life plans because I was encouraged to chase after what got me excited. The chaperones constantly encouraged to chase my dreams and become who I aspired to be. I’m leaving California with a happy heart and mind, and I am forever thankful for that.
– Haleigh Crouch