Cekayla King had little thought when she departed for Ghana that she’d return nearly two weeks later with a very modified perspective about her future.
King, who grew up in Glynn County and graduated in 2020 from Faculty of Coastal Georgia, traveled to the West African nation in 2019 due to a scholarship she acquired by means of the LIFE program sponsored by the Brunswick Chapter of The Hyperlinks, Included.
King has since develop into a neighborhood ambassador for this system, visiting space faculties and attending an annual LIFE occasion on the faculty to share her expertise.
She additionally accomplished her undergraduate diploma and started working for MAP Worldwide, a nonprofit group primarily based in Brunswick that gives medicines and well being provides to these in want all over the world.
“It is a full-circle second as a result of MAP is the corporate that supplied the medicines for us to tackle the medical mission journey,” King mentioned.
King is considered one of many native college students who’ve benefited from the Hyperlinks Worldwide International Affairs and Enterprise Empowerment (LIFE) program, which goals to reveal minority highschool college students to profession potentialities in international affairs and worldwide enterprise.
Margie Harris, a Hyperlinks chapter member who coordinates the LIFE program, mentioned she works intently with native faculties to decide on college students who will obtain this annual scholarship.
Scholarship recipients have to be college students who plan to enroll at CCGA for his or her undergraduate research.
Harris mentioned King is among the many LIFE program’s many success tales.
King can also be finishing her masters diploma in human sources administration at Troy College’s Brunswick campus.
The journey to Ghana impacted her deeply and altered her plans for the profession she would quickly embark on.
She mentioned she discovered loads in the course of the time she spent in Ghana, and her eyes had been particularly opened to the variations between life there and her expertise rising up in Glynn County.
“You’re taking a whole lot of issues as a right, and if you recover from there you see how individuals haven’t got entry to issues that we are able to simply go up the road to get,” she mentioned.
Meals, drugs and different life requirements usually are not as simply accessible for a lot of households there as they’re for households in America, she mentioned.
King traveled with a number of companions, together with Shirley Wilson, a member of the Brunswick Chapter of The Hyperlinks, Included.
They visited a number of clinics in several elements of the nation, the place King met households and introduced donations, together with toys and meals.
“We began this LIFE program to encourage college students to develop an curiosity in worldwide and international affairs, and I believed this is able to be an ideal alternative for native college students who’re contemplating conventional careers to take a look at non-traditional careers and for them to actually think about it wholeheartedly,” Wilson mentioned.
Earlier than the journey, King mentioned she didn’t know what to anticipate. She encountered and skilled variations in tradition and witnessed firsthand the numerous wants of some residents.
She returned dwelling with a brand new perspective and a want to discover a job that might permit her to proceed this type of work.
She inspired native college students to attend the LIFE program on the faculty and discover the alternatives it could present.
“Once I went, it was primarily at first to tour the Faculty of Coastal Georgia, to see what’s in my yard that I did not even understand,” she mentioned. “I hadn’t been in a position to go to the dorms previous to that program or see the totally different buildings that they provide the lessons in.”
This system additionally gave her a once-in-a-lifetime journey alternative that she values.
“The LIFE program is a key a part of the place I’m at the moment, and it actually helped me get right here,” King mentioned. “It is actually been part of making me the one who I’m at the moment.”