Q. I’m 15 years old, and I have an extreme passion for helping people. I’ve been a Girl Scout for going on 11 years, and try to locally volunteer whenever my busy school schedule allows. My problem is that I want to travel and work with aid groups, but I also perform broadway/opera/theatre and I want to try and do both in the future.
One of my questions is if there is a way for me to do work for a period of time, then take a break and work on other things but still keep standing in the aid community? And also, would there be any sort of demand for some sort of teacher in these areas, to help with education for the younger people in the areas that need help?
A. Hi Kristen, I love your enthusiasm and energy. I think at your age you should be able to hold on to both of these passions (aid work and musical theatre). My recommendation is that you plan to go to college, and think seriously while you’re there about where your core interests lie. Maybe take a semester abroad, or an internship in a developing country, and some international development courses alongside your theatre.
The aid world is very forgiving of people who want to drop in and out of it once you are established with a little bit of work experience. I know plenty of people who combine assignments overseas with travel, tour-guiding white-water raft trips, writing, medical work etc. While you’re in university is the time to thrash some of this out, as you get a better feel for what your focus is going to be.