Katerina Lamm, NCSSM Online Class of 2018, visited Colombia this past summer as part of the prestigiousYouth Ambassador program run by the US State Department.
This past summer, NCSSM Online student Katerina Lamm ’18 was one of ten teenagers from around the country chosen to participate in the prestigious Youth Ambassador program run by the US State Department. Designed to build cross-cultural bridges and emphasize public service, the program sent participants to Colombia for three weeks. There, they met with their counterparts, the Colombian Youth Ambassadors, and then spent two weeks with host families. We talked with Lamm, a junior at Voyager Academy, about the trip and how it affected her already-robust desire to make a difference in the world.
On her experience as a youth ambassador and her interest in public service: “It taught me how similar we all are,” says Lamm. One of the program’s high points was meeting the Colombian Youth Ambassadors; the two groups are still in touch. “It was so interesting to learn about the issues they feel are important and to see the similarities with ours,” she says. “One of my fellow youth ambassadors says she’s a ‘global citizen’ and I love that term. Being able to become aware of different cultures is something I think should be embraced more.”
Lamm has been volunteering for years for organizations like Farmer FoodShare and the American Red Cross, and has been commended for her work locally and nationally. “I think it’s important to do what you love when you’re doing service—and to do it because you love it,” she says. “I have an urge to make a difference. And sometimes I feel like I’m not doing that and it makes me want to do more. The Youth Ambassador program gave me a drive to do more—it was really inspiring.”
Favorite class at NCSSM: “Right now I’m taking an epidemiology class at NCSSM online. It’s probably my favorite because I have a real passion for health sciences and international relations, so learning the different technicalities of what organizations like the CDC do is great.”
Best tip for avoiding procrastination: “I think small goals are the way to go—you have to break [the task] up and it seems more doable.”
Dream job: “I’m not sure, but something that incorporates international relations and health sciences and helping people. Maybe in a medical field or at the CDC, or maybe politics.”
What do you do for stress relief: “I’ve been enjoying yoga recently—my English teacher is certified and we’ve been doing it.”
Favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon: “When the weather’s nice, I like to be outside, maybe at Duke Gardens.”
What book are you reading right now: Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur