My Expeditionary Semester with High Desert Center was one of the most pivotal and inspiring experiences that I have ever had. Wether we were hiking 30 miles in the rugged depths of the Rincon Mountains or dumpster diving behind a doughnut shop in Payson, I was in constant awe of the community I had been lucky enough to fall into the loving arms of, the epic places in which we adventured, and the new things that I learned daily. Geeking out over California poppies and blooming ocotillo, practicing our Spanish, and harmonizing new songs beside the fire is what filled my precious time in Arizona. High Desert Center bestows the gifts of deep compassion and curiosity upon their students with each cherished program. The HDC expresses their love for the world and everything in it through giving young people the opportunity to experience the miraculous wonders of the planet we live in. I’m left with their gifts of compassion and curiosity, relationships that will last me my lifetime, and an adventure that will be difficult to forget. I’m so extremely grateful for this inclusive community that changes the lives of so many amazing young people.