Aspire Summit photoBy Owen Nowen, Aspiration Summit participant

At 5:00 am, unloading my bag from the car at Logan Airport, I wondered and worried about my signing up for the 2018 Aspiration Summit- what was some never-been-west-of-Mississippi suburbanite doing, thinking he was going to go ride a horse and hike out in Wyoming? Living at home and going to college was already difficult enough- why choose to fly halfway across the country to a place I’ve never seen?

6:00 AM, Mountain Standard time. Sunday September 9th, 2018.  My cell phone alarm halfway across the room goes off, and I rise.  Fully adjusted to the two-hour difference in time zones and wishing that I didn’t have to go home today, I stumble over to the offending device and hit the “off” button on the alarm.  The day and night before, I had conversed with Tony Aquila, CEO of Solera Holdings, ridden a horse named Charlie Brown through the tree-speckled plains of Wyoming, and pointed out planets and constellations alongside the most amazing group of people I’d met in a very long time.  At 1:30 PM, I would board a plane back to the familiar, but I didn’t want to return to Marblehead.  And after the week I had experienced, who would blame me?

A month later, I sit in the common area at North Shore Community College in Lynn and reflect on how lucky I was to be chosen as part of the 2018 Aspiration Summit. The experience in Jackson and the people I got to share it with undoubtedly changed me for the better.  I would recommend it to absolutely anyone seeking to add more positivity, courage and social connections to their life. 

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