As a Joint Venture (JV), it is amazing to live here and to take advantage of all the unique opportunities that come up. It is definitely the time to explore new places! This summer, I lived in Nairobi, Kenya for two months, and I was also one of the leaders of KWEST Chile. These two opportunities made my experience at Kellogg much better, and I encourage all JVs to go and try them.
When Felipe started to look for summer jobs, we hoped to do something different and new. Then we received an email from a Brazilian friend with a job posting in Kenya, and I encouraged Felipe to apply. In just two months, we were in the airport to Nairobi! Felipe would be working for a startup, and his boss connected me with a NGO where I could volunteer.
It was great to have a job for two months. I worked for Dignitas Project, a NGO that coaches and educates teachers and principals inside one of Nairobi’s slums. By doing so, the organization improves the education of unprivileged children. Dignitas Project also supports the children by providing uniforms, water, books and notebooks.
It was my first time in a slum, and I could see the terrible reality. The first time I visited a school, I almost cried. I had mixed feelings: I was happy the children had the opportunity to go to a school but sad about the conditions. It was unbelievable how they wanted to stay close to me and how a simple smile could make them so happy.
In Kenya, we also had a Kellogg group that made our lives there much better. We traveled around Africa to Rwanda, Seychelles and Zanzibar. We also did a lot of activities, including meeting for dinners, drinks and picnics. That made my experience in Kenya much better and further embedded me in the Kellogg community.
After Kenya, we led KWEST Chile. When we decided to, I was scared. Planning a trip for 25 people was not easy, and I was insecure about my English. However, it was worth it! It was wonderful to travel, and I loved passing on the Kellogg culture to a new group of students. We had a really good time, and I am extremely happy to have met all of those people.
After KWEST Chile, the leaders went to Peru and Colombia. We had a great trip together, and at the end of it, we stayed in Baru, an island in Colombia, with more than 25 other Kellogg students!
My summer was amazing, and I am already missing it. I definitely did things that, from the beginning of my Kellogg journey, I pushed myself to do: try new experiences and enjoy all that this time can provide me!
Thaleya Freitas is the Joint Venture of Felipe Godoy ’14. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Freitas worked at an advertising and event agency before moving to Evanston with her husband in 2012.