By Crystal Thompson, a SkillCorps member and alum who has traveled with the Global Autism Project to Nigeria, Indonesia, Kenya, and is currently co-leading a SkillCorps trip in Nicaragua

“I think I can, I think I can” – the famous words from the Little Engine That Could.  During orientation we are asked “WHO CAN YOU BE”.  That question inspires some and stops others in their tracks.  Why are we so afraid to tell the world who we can be? Why are we so hesitant to believe that we can be anyone we want to be?  I believe its from fear of failure and that our dreams will not come true.  Fear stops us from growing, from believing that the impossible can actually be possible.  The only things stronger than fear are love and hope.  Both powerful enough to change your day, change your life.

Nicaragua has been a beautiful experience.  One of our goals has been to empower the therapist at the centers we visit.  To help them believe in their abilities.  But sometimes we are lucky enough to be the one who are empowered.  Each of my team members have grown and stepped out of their comfort zones in so many ways.  For myself, the therapists at CIE and my team members have helped me accomplished each of my “WHO CAN YOU BE” answers.

As I leave Nicaragua in a couple days, I am leaving with a renewed sense of who I am and who I know I can become.  Stop just thinking you can be the man or woman you want to be, tell yourself that you can be.  Grow from every experience, allow yourself to learn and be open to whatever is next.   The possibilities are endless… 

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