The Globalist - Carter S. Grant - Nease High School, 2014: The First Class of The Next Generation Prepares to Meet the World
by Debbie Gaylord
Some people are destined to shine their light on the world. This June graduates throughout the United States will cross over from childhood to adulthood taking with them the lessons they have learned and embark on the journey of their life. Some, like Nease graduate Carter S. Grant, have accomplished a lot already. Even before she transitions from high school student to college co-ed, this young woman has lived on her own for a year as an exchange student in a developing nation, hiked the Inca Trail, and will receive the International Baccalaureate diploma, one of the most prestigious in the world.
Carter is part of the newest generation, known in popular culture as Globalists or Digitals. According to Forbes Magazine, they are coming of age during a severe economic downturn, have never known a world without the US being part of a war, and they are the most diverse generation yet. Their technology is always on and as a result, they are rarely alone. This generation’s impact on the world remains to be seen but their future seems bright.
Carter describes herself as outgoing, intense and sarcastic. But I would add fearless, self-aware and humble to the list. She is a 2014 graduate of Nease’s International Baccalaureate program, which is known for its grueling academics, desire to teach young people the positive aspect about differences, to respect cultures foreign to their own and how to create a more peaceful world.
In addition to her academic studies, Carter was the Captain of the Nease Hi-Q Team and the Vice President of the Nease Interact Club. She participates in many Rotary sponsored events and is very involved with the Rotary Youth Exchange program in Jacksonville.
During her junior year, Carter had the extradordinary opportunity to study abroad in Lima, Peru as part of Rotary Exchange. Rotary programs allow students to live with a family and go to school in the host country, therefore experiencing the culture in a much deeper way than simply traveling there on a vacation. While there, she had the chance to visit sites like Macchu Picchu and the Nazca Lines, and was also able to hike the Inca Trail. She also traveled extensively in Ecuador. Carter’s time in Peru and Ecuador allowed her to hone her language skills and she is now fluent in Spanish, something she says has already opened many doors for her in the United States.
When asked how she was able to just leave her home country and everything familiar to go to a country that is very different from her own she says it was not difficult. “I’ve always been an independent person and I never let any insecurities affect my exchange. Rotary and my family were extremely supportive as well, so that helped my transition. Also, I was trained to disconnect myself from my Florida life and integrate myself into Peruvian culture so as to not get homesick.”
Using this experience as a springboard to her future, this fall Carter will attend University of South Carolina and plans to enter their International Business program where she will eventually study abroad, possibly in Germany and Austria. She would like to learn German, which would make her trilingual.
One wonders if Carter is truly representative of her generation – the Globalist? Is her adventurous spirit and fearlessness something the world will see more of in the coming years? Carter says she has always known she wanted to travel. “I come from a family of travelers and I’ve always loved learning about other cultures.” It seems for Carter and her generation, it is a matter of destiny. As the world grows smaller, Globalists will feel at home in an ever-changing, digital world, equipped with knowledge and appreciation of diverse cultures and an open attitude that is poised to unite us all. It is a world I look forward to living in.
Congratulations to Carter and her fellow Globalists of the class of 2014!
St. Johns Magazine
St. Johns Magazine blog features articles written by & about the people, places and events of St. Johns and the surrounding communities.