Prioritizing Our World Rather Than My World

Prioritizing Our World Rather Than My World

Gabrielle Antolovic

Big Fiji Explorer, 2012
Medical Service Certification Program in Thailand, 2013
Elephants and Amazing Luang Prabang in Laos, 2013
Lake Titicaca Service Adventure in Peru, 2014

Gabrielle is a first-year law student at Suffolk University Law School. She graduated from Pepperdine University in 2019 where she studied Political Science and Philosophy. She hopes to combine her passion for helping others and non-profit work experience into a successful public interest law career.

All photos have been provided by Gabrielle. Read her story below!

My love for adventure started at an early age. My parents graciously wanted to give my sister and me the “gift of travel” to learn about our world, learn about our place in it, and learn how we could help make it a better place from an early age. At the age of five, I took my first international trip to Scotland.

After many summers of more international trips opening my eyes, I knew I wanted to spend my time giving back to others abroad. The cultures and history had so enriched me that I felt a call to get my hands dirty and give back in any way I could. I surprisingly found Rustic Pathways by Googling “International Service Work” one afternoon. The opportunities and destinations were precisely what I was looking for.

In the Summer of 2012, I packed my bags and headed to Fiji. Subsequently, I traveled with Rustic to Thailand, Laos, and then Peru.

Rustic Pathways allowed me to immerse myself into new cultures, serve others, take part in age-old traditions, and forge relationships with citizens from far and wide. The saying, “Your net worth is your network,” could not be more accurate of the relationships I formed because of Rustic Pathways. I am so lucky to have been challenged by my leaders, who I remain in touch with. I forged lifetime friendships that continue to enrich my life.

Although my first trip with Rustic was nearly ten years ago, the friendships remain. Following Rustic Pathways trips, I have traveled with some of those friends, met their families, and supported one another as we navigated growing up and pursued our passions professionally.

In addition to the ways, Rustic Pathways enriched my personal life, my time with Rustic Pathways adjusted my world view. I prioritized our world rather than my world. My experiences with Rustic Pathways changed my mindset for the better.

As a global citizen, I try to think about the needs of all first. How can I use my position, privilege, and opportunities to improve, aid, and educate? After each trip with Rustic, I felt emotionally and spiritually renewed. My energy shifted, and I was more inspired to tackle the year, the challenge in front of me, and the goals I had.

I attended Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, TX, before attending Pepperdine University and Suffolk University Law School. I was a part of a new cohort at Parish called the Academy of Global Studies, researching and writing a capstone.

This program so perfectly aligned with my passion for serving and my time with Rustic Pathways. It allowed me to direct my passion for global issues into generating meaningful solutions for the challenges facing the world today in an academic setting. I vowed that I would forge my path in others’ service and devote my career to becoming an advocate for women and marginalized people with the highest echelon of education I could – with that being law school.

During my high school summers off, I excitedly attended Rustic Pathways programs and volunteered locally in Dallas, TX. During my undergraduate summers off, I wanted to ready myself for Law school, so I sought legal and human rights internships in Dallas, TX, and Washington, D.C.

The combination of my service-oriented mind, compassion for others, and my academic and professional record will further my law school success and beyond. Having established a firm foundation of skills and professional experiences with a demonstrated passion nurtured by my time spent with Rustic Pathways programs, I am well prepared to pursue my legal education.

I profoundly believe that we have a responsibility to use our abilities and passions to help those around us. My time with Rustic Pathways solidified this belief. I feel confident the opportunity to study law will uniquely allow me to do this. Rustic Pathways was the springboard for my personal and professional goals. The trajectory of my life and successes are a testament to the staff, programming, mentorship, and life-lessons I learned from Rustic Pathways.

I will forever be grateful to Rustic Pathways for countless lessons, gifts, spiritual renewal, and instruction of my worldview, but most importantly, the unsuspecting network that followed and that has so wonderfully enriched my life.

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