My name is Graham Myhill and I live in Manlius, New York with my parents, older brother, younger sister, and grandfather. I’m currently completing my senior year in high school, have been a member of the varsity cross country and track & field teams, and played percussion for the Wind Ensemble and with the pit orchestra for school musicals. In my Junior and Senior years, I was selected to be a peer mentor for the incoming Freshman class. In past summers I volunteered at Upstate University Hospital, and with the Music Technology Access Project assisting kids with special needs to produce their own music in a production studio. In recent years, my interests in the visual arts have grown, especially photography, digital art, and experimenting with different media and styles when drawing. I currently work at a childcare center with kindergarten age children in an after school program. And now I’m getting ready for the next chapter of my life, and hope to become a proactive agent of change.

In September 2016 I will depart for seven months with the Thinking Beyond Borders (TBB) program, including ten to fifteen peers and several TBB mentors, travelling, working and learning on three continents. TBB will offer me deep cultural immersion, fieldwork with experts, and engaging readings and discussions among my peers and mentors.

Part of my preparations for this experience will be to begin understanding “what is development?” I will do a series of readings that will help me explore some theories, research and challenges written by leading thinkers in the topic of international development. These books will be the foundation for discussion and projects throughout the experience. Some of the books are: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and The End Of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time by Jeffrey Sachs.

Upon return from TBB, I will begin my college studies at Drexel University in the fall of 2017, where I have been accepted into the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. With the collected knowledge and experiences that this program brings me, I feel I’ll be a student with more to offer as I tackle the challenges of higher education and beyond. I hope to use the TBB experience as a way to gain a better understanding of the world around me, to learn more about myself, and how I can use my interests and talents in the arts to help and inspire others.