This experience is worth every moment. It gives kids the chance to meet new people they never would have encountered otherwise. I am able to walk away more educated and aware of the world around me, and show others that stereotypes hold no value compared to getting to know someone for who they really are.
No matter how little prejudice you think you have, having somebody stay at your house or deeply getting to know them makes you lose the bias even more. This experience has taught me the importance of truly getting to know somebody and understanding their perspectives. Everybody brings something new to the table. People are more than just a race, religion, sexual orientation, or nationality. People are complex and joining OBS let me understand this so much more than I ever thought I could.
It might be scary at first, and it even is a little stressful at times, but trust me it gives a long lasting impact on your life. Be open to new experiences and welcome in the new. Don’t let our physical features affect your mental capabilities or desires. Be who you want. In our world today we have no time for insecurity. Be secure in yourself and others.
I think the best part of the program is understanding certain things in a different perspective and spending time with my partner doing just that and a whole lot more. Cultural diversity is something I really enjoy talking about, the differences in how we prepare and cook food in particular, and how our differences make us unique and special. I really see the world in a different light now and my mind is more open to new ideas than it ever was before I joined the program. I hope the program will continue to have a positive impact in the community as it did for me.