Every year there are a handful of students that graduate early. Reasons varying from wanting to get away from high school quicker, to starting their career ahead of the game. Junior Lily Gasper is graduating early for a different reason: the unique opportunity of getting to tutor english in Zambia, Africa.
The offer sprung up in a conversation Gasper had with her Uncle this past summer about her strong desire to get out of Kansas City. Gasper has traveled all over the world including much of Europe with her dad. But after roadtripping around Iceland, seeing the Northern Lights while experiencing a completely new culture, Gasper was reassured that KC doesn’t offer near the experience that many foreign countries do.
“When you get to see the world and travel, you realize how much is out there in the world,” Gasper said. “And Kansas City really only offers a very small portion of that. Not enough to make me want to stay.”
Although the offer was a convenience to getting out of KC quick, Gasper also has a strong belief that everyone deserves equal opportunity especially when it comes to education. This is her first step into taking action to help the cause.
Gasper’s closely knit family is in full support of her expedition plans. Although her siblings and parents will miss her contagious laugh and loving spirit, they recognize the continuous hard work she does to make it out of the city to do bigger things. They encourage her drive in changing the importance of education in other countries. This along with her ideas of equal opportunity are two of the main reasons Gasper’s parents are okay with the trip.
Gasper traveling alone is nothing new to her or her family. She has been flying solo since she was eight years old, going back and forth between her mom in Kansas City and her dad in Seattle.
“I didn’t really have a choice in accepting Lily traveling by herself. I trust her because she is independent and street smart,” Gasper’s mom said. Her independent traveling has helped Gasper become a more self sufficient and hard working person.
After graduating this spring, a whole year early, Gasper will be heading off to Zambia. She hopes to make a strong impact tutoring and teaching kids in english, as well as broaden horizons in countries with lesser educational standards.