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Jada Castor

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Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
2016
Home Institution: 
University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown
Heinz Programming Area: 
Arts & Culture
Study Abroad Country: 
England
International Experience
Jada Castor spent 6 weeks studying abroad in London, England. It was there she was enrolled in a British subculture class, and had an internship in the Human Resource Office of the Grosvenor House, a 5 Star JW Marriott Hotel, with an accomplanying internship class. During her subculture class she took the time to truly learn and understand the subcultures of British history. This also included watching films such as 'Quadrophenia' which was tightly tied in with the Mod and Rocker subculture. Jada also travel to different places both within and outside of London to relive some of the subcultures way of life. She traveled to Brighton with her class to tour what was called 'The Battle of Brighton', a fight that broke out in the streets in the town of Brighton between the Mods and the Rockers. Within her class she also learned about the various types of music and lifestyles that all subcutlures from the 1950s and onwards experiences, between the Beatles era, and the Rave scene in London. During her internship, she was in the company of 7 brilliant women who had really taught her a lot about herself, and about the career she will soon be entering as little as next year. She spent her time here recruiting for the hotel, screening resumes and she also spent a lot of time on guest relations. Jada feels like the internship is the best thing she could have been involved in while being abroad, even if it did cut her sightseeing time down. Being as she was technically employeed by the hotel, she was also invited to be part of the hotel softball league, this was something that really made Jada happy. She had played softball all her life and recently quit a few years ago, but being out on that field and meeting new people and having the time of her life made her how much she missed it, and is going to play again. This experience has brought a new light to Jadas life and she is extremely thankful for the amazing opportunity. 
 
Community Engagement Experience
CEE Title: 
Beyond America

The event has itself was designed to spread awareness of what we think needs to change in our area. We decided that the world needed to be more aware of the rest of the world, and not just focus on what is happening in our own backyard. We concluded that this needed to change after we both spent our time abroad and noticed that the countries we were in were world focused, while the U.S. is very U.S. focused. We started off our presentation talking about different aspects of the world that people do not have a lot of knowledge on. These topics included items such as human trafficking, immigration, law and regulations, business economy, as well as race, religion, and gender acceptance. We also took the time to involve the audience by asking them if they were where certain places are on the map, while the volunteers knew some places we asked, they proved our point that we do not know enough about even where places in the world are located.  We then went into our own study abroad experience, and what we saw there compared to what we see daily in the U.S. We told our stories and gave the audience time to take in some of the similarities and differences. We then took time to go into more specific details about things we found were important in the world and trying to make people realize just how important these topics are in the not only the rest of the world, but in the U.S. as well. This topics included Human Trafficking, immigration, indigenous cultures and religion acceptance. The basic point of our CEE is we are trying to spread awareness that there is so much going on out in the world and people need to learn the importance of global competence. We encouraged them to study abroad, take a global issues class, a foreign language class, anything they can do to gain that global competency that the rest of the world has, that a lot of the U.S. doesn't seem to have.

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