Intern Spotlight: Thalia Navia

This is the fifth spotlight on our summer 2018 student interns.  Learning Life’s students this summer are assisting with planning, fundraising, curriculum development, and international family-to-family projects focused on community photography and food culture as part of our Citizen Diplomacy Initiative (CDI).  Thalia Navia, interviewed below, is, among other things, helping with research and writing and co-leading food culture project meetings with families in Washington DC and San Salvador, El Salvador.

Thalia NaviaWhere were you born and raised?

I was born in Bogota, Colombia, but I was raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

What school do you attend, and what is your year and major there?

I am a senior at Georgetown University majoring in International Politics.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time I like to explore Washington, D.C.  That includes going to different neighborhoods of the city, trying new restaurants, touring different museums, walking around the monuments, and walking my dogs through Rock Creek Park. I really enjoy learning about new cultures, so one of my favorite things to do is go to areas where I will be able to exchange with people of different cultures (restaurants, embassy visits, conversation tables, etc.)

Is there a life experience you have had that has particularly shaped you thus far?  If so, what is it, and how has it shaped you?

Being an immigrant in a time where there is a lot of negative rhetoric about immigrants has shaped my perspective.  I lived in Tallahassee, Florida from 2015- 2017.  During those years, there were a lot of empowered voices that spewed hatred and generally made me feel unsafe.  Having grown up in South Florida, I had never experienced that before.  It made me change the way that I perceive my place and relationship to those around me.

What are your career plans?

There are a lot of things that I would like to do in the future. The main drive for me is to be able to travel the world.  With that in mind, I either want to go into diplomacy or intelligence.  I have also toyed with the idea of going back to Colombia at some point in my life and getting into politics there.

Why did you choose to intern with Learning Life?

I am very passionate about the importance of being knowledgeable about other cultures and international affairs. I believe in the importance of exchanging ideas and information to start a conversation and create cooperation among groups of people. Learning Life’s initiative and goal of creating global citizens embodies that passion and provides a perfect opportunity to work toward creating this cultural exchange.

What is the most beautiful place you have seen on Earth, and why is it so beautiful?

Not long ago, I went to see the monuments on Washington D.C.’s National Mall around 1am.  I walked from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument and back. There was no one else there, so it was completely peaceful.  Even the ducks were asleep!  The weather was perfect, and the monuments were lit up beautifully.  The days in D.C. can get so hectic that I did not believe such complete peace and quiet was possible in the city. It was the most beautiful experience that I have had thus far in my life.