Interview with Devin Hunter, Co-Winner of the 2013 Transforming Youth Through Travel Scholarship
This year marks the sixth year since the Context Foundation established the Transforming Youth Through Travel scholarship, a program that partners with St. Hope Public Schools in Sacramento, California to offer one or two aspiring inner-city students the opportunity to see Europe the Context way: through culturally-immersive walking seminars.
This year, two recipients were chosen to win the 2013 Transforming Youth Through Travel scholarship, and we had the chance to ask both of them a few questions about the trip and what they’ve been up to since. Read on for Devin Hunter’s responses!
1. What made you decide to apply for the Transforming Youth Through Travel scholarship?
I have always had a fascination for Roman history: specifically, the Renaissance. I knew that my school offered the scholarship but I was hesitant to apply because I knew that there were plenty of other kids who wanted it. But I did it anyway because I knew I would never get another chance like that again.
2. Looking back at the trip, is there something you would have done differently, something you wish you had known before going?
Looking back, I wish I would have prepared myself for all of the long walks we took during the tours. I knew that we would be walking quite a bit during our visit in Italy but I didn’t take into account that we would be walking at least 5 miles a day for 10 days straight. I will admit that the walking was a little challenging but I felt it was necessary to get all I could out of the experience. Also, I do wish I had filmed a lot more of the streets and the people so I could show people back home just how much we are like modern-day Romans. But regardless, I would do it all over again if it meant just going back one more time.
3. In the time since you went, how do you think the trip has influenced you in your choices?
The art was unlike anything I had ever seen before. I was used to seeing small portraits of things I knew nothing about in small art galleries. After seeing the Baroque portraits in Rome and Florence, I grew a great understanding for the art itself. To this day, I don’t think I could every look at American art the same way I did the Baroque mosaics in Rome. Also, I did things in Rome that I never would have done here in America. For example, I never drink coffee; but after having an Italian espresso I have grown a new respect for the drink, so to speak. The espresso in America isn’t nearly as strong as it is in Rome but I still have one or two a month to remind me of how things were back in Italy.
Thank you, Context, for the journey of a lifetime.
Check out his project, ‘A Little Piece of History’ here, for his fresh, funny take on the history of Rome.