Staff Spotlight: Jamie Jo Braner

What inspired you to join Kivu Gap Year? What is your role?

Jamie: I am the co-founder of the Kivu Gap Year. I get the opportunity to plan all of the travels and the unique destinations for each Gap Year Class. I have been working with Camp Kivu from the very beginning and a gap year has been my dream for two decades. I was excited to help start the Gap Year with Kivu because combining the two seemed to make perfect sense for me.

What is your favorite aspect of Kivu Gap Year's programs?

Jamie: My favorite aspect of the Kivu Gap Year is the world travels because not only does a student get to travel around the globe, hitting five continents, but they get to experience that many (and more) cultures along the way. The students get to live among the people in several different nations, cultures and religions and there really is no substitute for that experience. The Kivu Gap Year truly is a once in a lifetime experience!

What is the best story you've heard of a participant's experience with Kivu Gap Year?

Jamie: I love when students come back different. It doesn't matter if they come back with a different idea of where they want to live or what they want to major in in college, the change of heart means the most to me. As students travel the world in and out of their comfort zones, they are stretched and molded and formed and they grow up and they become people they would never have become without the nine months with the Kivu Gap Year.

What tips/insights do you have for students considering a gap year?

Jamie: My tip to a student considering the Kivu Gap Year would be to do it! Stop thinking about it, stop analyzing it and do it! Your life will be fuller and richer and deeper than it could ever be without the Kivu Gap Year! It is an experience that is more than great pictures and fun passport stamps, it is an experience that will shape your entire future!