Hey Everyone! My name is Petra and I am a junior studying at the University of South Carolina . I am currently double majoring in Dance Performance and Global studies, with a minor in Health, Promotion, Education, and Behavior (HPEB). After graduation I hope to go to graduate school to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Health.

I am humbled to have the opportunity to travel to Ghana this summer to work with the Akumanyi Foundation for two months starting in May! During my stay I will be working in local medical clinics as well as assisting with projects such as helping with a clean water initiative in a rural village of about 400 people. These projects were created to find sustainable ways to empower local women and children, and I am so grateful to be apart of this process. As you can probably tell from one of my majors, one of my great passions is dance and arts education and outreach. While in Ghana, I plan to teach dance classes in the evenings to local children from surrounding areas. Because of my passion for Ballet and my strong belief in arts advocacy, I wanted to be able to provide the kids an opportunity to share in the gift of dance and find a creative outlet where they can freely express themselves. Because there will be kids from all different areas and coming from all different situations, I hope to use dance as a universal tool that has the ability to connect with all people no matter their age or circumstance. It has been such a fundamental part of my life and has given me so many opportunities to express myself through different styles of movement. My hope is that the kids that participate in these classes will find a new sense of freedom and joy from movement they may have not had before. I am so incredibly excited to work alongside this foundation and alongside these kids in their journey with dance.

This trip would not be possible without the generosity and kindness of the Live LIke Ally Foundation. From my very first interaction with this foundation I have been treated with such kindness and I am overwhelmed with joy at being apart of this family. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Ally, I feel as though I know her through hearing her story by talking with her family and through seeing how her passion has shaped the foundation that has helped so many. Her kind spirit and love for life has reached all over the globe through this foundation, and I am beyond thankful to participate in telling her story and continuing her legacy in a small way. Thank you to Ally for leaving good fingerprints that show a road map of the places she has been and the lives she has touched, including my own. I wish to live my life with the same passion and love that I see in the impressions her fingers have left on earth.

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