Checking In With Our Leaders: Episode 2 – University of Virginia

Moderated by Hannah Gensheimer

Hello from Charlottesville, Virginia!  Last night I had the opportunity to hang out (virtually) with three recent Apogee leaders! Dylan Hoos, Rosa Waters, and Posie Holmes are all students at the University of Virginia and took a little bit of time out of their hectic schedules to chat with me.  They met up at Dylan’s quaint apartment, all donning their Apogee t-shirts and hoodies and enjoying cups of hot tea.  Last summer, Dylan was my co-leader down in Puerto Rico on our Caribbean Service Adventure, Rosa led trips along the beautiful New England islands on Cape Cod and the Islands , and Posie went from being a veteran Apogee student to leading Coast to Quebec!  We got to talking about what they’re up to at school, what they learned from leading their trips, and who their dream co-leader would be.

 Apogee Adventure Leaders at UVA

Hannah: Hey guys!  I’m so excited to see you all together!  What’s going on down at UVA?

(Everyone looks at each other and takes a deep breath — looks like finals are on the way?)

Dylan: Well, I’m working night and day in order to graduate in December, which I’m really excited about!  But it’s going to be a busy couple of months.  Right now I’m finishing up my classes, working at the Institute for Environmental Negotiations and putting a bunch of hours in for the University and Community Action for Racial Equity (UCARE).

Rosa: Wow! Isn’t UCARE putting on a huge conference soon?

Dylan: Yeah!  And I’m in charge of planning it – and there’s going to be really, really great food so you should come.

(Posie and Rosa are clearly impressed as they make eye contact with each other – and I’m sure very excited to get some free food out of the conference as well!)

Hannah: That’s great, Dylan!  Rosa and Posie, what are you guys up to?

Posie: Rosa and I are both leading Alternative Spring Breaks at for UVA this spring so we’re excited about that!  I’m going to be taking students to a Shuar Indian community in a rainforest reservation in Ecuador.  And I’m going to study abroad in January in India and spend May taking classes in China.

(Once again, everyone is looking around at each other – very impressed.)

Dylan: Well you might be going to Ecuador, India, and China, but I’m going to visit Brunswick, Maine this spring… so be very jealous.

Hannah: And Rosa, besides leading the Alternative Spring Break trip, what else is going on with you?  

Rosa: Well, I’m running my first marathon in two weeks so I’ve been running a lot to train for that!  And I’ve been working for Teach for America, so I’ve been interviewing a lot of potential teachers, which has been great.  

Hannah:  Man! You guys are killing it!  Now that you are back at school, do you think you’ve applied anything from your trips to your school life?

Posie: Absolutely.  Working with my co-leader Postyn made me think about how I work with others in all different kinds of settings.  I’ve learned how to maximize other people’s strengths and different personalities in a way where you can bring out the best in one another.  Whether a person is extremely shy or very outgoing, everyone has something to bring to the table.

Rosa: Yeah, I agree.  I’ve definitely learned how to foster a positive group dynamic in a way where everyone can feel comfortable and be themselves.

Dylan: Well, I’m really good at grocery shopping now.  I’m kidding… but not really.  And I would definitely say that I’ve learned to manage my time and stay fairly stress-free.  On Apogee trips you have so much to do and so much to think about that it helped prepare me for managing my work at school really well.   

Rosa: It’s exactly like our trips.  You can do everything in your power to plan ahead, but if you make a wrong turn you learn to go with the flow.  It might not go exactly as you expected, but it’ll all work out in the end.

Hannah: Okay guys, one last question for you.  If you could lead with any other person in the world, who would you lead with.  

Rosa: Lewis and Clark!  Because they could power through up ahead and I could hang out in the back with the kids and sing songs.

Posie: Indiana Jones, for sure!

Dylan:  Hmm, that’s a tough one.  I’d say Ellen Degeneres or Hillary Clinton – some of my heros.

Stay tuned for the Talkshow Explorer and Political Mountains & Coasts!