Christian Gap Year for Entrepreneurs

Global U students have a lot of passion--> enough passion to take on the challenge of starting a business around that passion. Check Cassie's reflection that lead her to create SpeakEasy Language Learning.

"Ukraine is beautiful, even as the weather dips its hand violently back into the cold for a few days each week.

"The city has opened, people are out and about all the time, and the smell of coffee and bread fills the air as restaurants and coffee shops open their doors once more.

"I shake my head and smile apologetically for the umpteenth time as I let yet another local know that I don’t know how to speak their language. Nervous laughter, some hopeful gesturing, a few butchered Ukrainian phrases, and oodles of patience later, everything turned out fine.

"So how do I explain to you the level of frustration that lingers from each of these encounters? I’m not frustrated at them, or even at the lack of ability to communicate in general - I’m frustrated that I don’t have more to offer these kind people in their native tongue.

"I didn’t quite have this problem in the Dominican Republic - at least to this degree. And I took it for granted.

"The ability to communicate with others in their language is something I never thought I would value so much. But I do. It’s their home - their childhood, their humor, the muscles that form how they smile. It’s the subtle nuances in their voice that I can’t catch because I don’t speak their language.

"It’s an undeniable fact that words connect us as humans, beyond just the ability to communicate and understand one another. Words matter, especially to me. I love words - they’ve played such a huge role in my life, shaping aspects of who I am and giving names to the seasons of my life.

"But what happens when the meaning of words gets lost in translation? Literally.

"When I went to the Dominican Republic, I was one of a handful of people who could speak a decent amount of Spanish. I was thrust into many situations as a translator (of sorts), and it forced me to grow in my Spanish vernacular. By the end of my 3 months there, I was able to hold entire conversations with locals - not a lick of English to be heard. I could connect with them and their stories, laugh at their jokes, and know them in a way unique to being able to speak the same tongue.

"I won’t lie. This has become the driving force for my involvement with SpeakEasy Language Learning. The gift of learning another language for the sake of connecting with people is something I find myself valuing more and more, and I want to share it with others."

-Cassie Solis

Got a passion you want to do something about? Comment below!