‘I am open to doing anything’

Tymon Tai ’08 will spend three weeks in June, along with other students from around the world, in South Africa on a community service trip with the program Global Leadership Adventures.

“If I’m doing something during the summer, it might as well be in others’ interests, not just mine,” Tai said. 

The participants will aid a community near Cape Town.  Each student will decide what aspect of outreach to focus on. 

“I am going to work specifically with children, tutoring them and giving them personal attention,” Tai said.  “But I am open to doing anything.” 

Tai has participated in community service dealing with children throughout the school year with his work with the program Imagine LA. This program aims to help homeless children in the Los Angles area by providing housing and financial assistance to families in addition to other needs.    

Community Service Director Jan Stewart recommended this Africa program to Tai after getting to know him through his efforts to bring Imagine LA to Harvard-Westlake. Tai was attracted to the program because it blends his interests in traveling and community service and gives him a chance to travel alone.

“I have never been to Africa before, which is a really interesting opportunity,” Tai said. “This will also be my first time going on a trip with an objective and not being a tourist.”

Although last year a handful of students in addition to Stewart went on this trip, Tai will be the only Harvard-Westlake student this year.

“I think it is really cool that I am the only person going because I am not bound by any expectations that people have of me,” Tai said.  “It’s an opportunity to start out an a new platform.”