It all began 7 years ago, the first time I leaped out of my comfort zone. There I was in the tiny Peruvian village, Camicancha, nestled beneath the Andes Mountains and waking each morning from my tent pitched in an open field. I experienced the culture of this rural yet intimate community through helping to construct adobe houses, passing hours with the local schoolchildren and most importantly, celebrating the experience in the present. …I’ve carried this ‘Be Here Now’ mentality with me through my travels and adventures, leading me to incredible opportunities, friendships and perspectives. My path as a student studying the international & humanitarian community has continued to open my eyes to the perpetual issues in our world today and motivates me to experience the world to the best of my ability. Over the past several years, I have been fortunate enough to share and embrace those three little words with the teenagers I have led as an outdoor adventure leader in the U.S., Central & South America. For many of these kids, camping, hiking, the outdoors or traveling abroad not only resemble foreign concepts, but they are also things that entail patience and optimism. Throughout our time together, I have been rewarded with the ability to witness many of these kids take that same leap I did many years ago, optimizing change, seizing opportunities, being receptive to new people, places and experiences and carrying that through for the rest of their lives. It is my hope that ‘Be Here Now’ becomes the philosophy of today’s youth generation. From our personal endeavors to global issues, living in the present takes you further by reducing the distractions of our complex society and opening our eyes to the bigger picture.