Team Spain 2016

Kion Millsap

Grade 11

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Kion (right) sits with teacher leader Matthew Johnson in a woody area of Salamanca.

 

Kion Millsap is a 12th Grader at Boston Green Academy. Having never traveled outside the country before, his first time on a plane headed for Spain was the start of a new adventure! He went in with very few expectations and an open mind set on learning a lot, making connections and having a good time.

Getting off of the plane in Spain, Kion was able to see the similarities between his home and this new culture and country that he had never experienced. “There really isn’t really much difference except they are a little more exposed to nature than we are here too,” he said. This exposure to nature was a big part of Team Spain’s service trip. Although there were difficulties along the way, Kion consistently stepped up to the task handling  the physical work with ease and keeping the group positive.

During a service project in which the students hiked a mountain to check all of the trail signs to make sure everything was safe for hikers and tourists, Kion was able to pick up his fellow teammates– literally! As the students were serving, the famed rain in Spain fell also on the mountain, and the students, determined to complete their tasks, made the best of their situation, alternating holding umbrellas for each other and evaluating the trail signs. Seeking the silver lining, Kion remembers, “We worked through this challenge by helping one another… picking whoever fell and trying to get people to lighten up a little and have some fun.”

When he wasn’t bonding in service with his teammates, Kion also enjoyed interacting with locals, young and old alike. He made local friends with whom he communicates still. “I have formed bonds that I never thought possible until this life changing opportunity,” he said. Opening himself to a new experience and culture he found that “You are able to understand and learn the history of people that are not the same as you.”

It was obvious that Salamanca’s charm captivated Kion. His teacher Matthew Johnson reports that Kion made it abundantly clear that he plans to return to Spain in order to study Spanish in the University of Salamanca!

Quest students come into their experience with a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. Kion is no stranger to travelling a long and bumpy road, but the maturity, poise and interest he showed every single day of the project made this an experience that he will carry with him for the rest of his life… until someday he returns to Salamanca!  

“It changes your outlook on life. Like why am I living so small when I could be doing great things in the world? There’s just too much to explore in the world than to be stuck in one city for your whole life.”