DSU student prepares for leadership abroad
by Courtney Warren
Mar 21, 2014 | 2263 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Through her travels Yawn has experience many things. One of them was when she and her brother unknowingly ate cow tongue. Here, they stand before their parents after just realizing what they had put in their stomachs.
Through her travels Yawn has experience many things. One of them was when she and her brother unknowingly ate cow tongue. Here, they stand before their parents after just realizing what they had put in their stomachs.
Lawrence Yawn's passport booklet is filling up fast and will get another stamp this summer.

After seeing a photo on Instagram by Global Lead of a girl bungee jumping with the caption, "Don't just go. Lead," Yawn knew she wanted to be a part of the adventure.

According to their website, "Global Lead is an innovative, purpose-driven organization, focused on leading transformative experiences at home and abroad."

Yawn is a senior graphic design major at Delta State and said she has always loved traveling and caught the travel bug from her dad.

"My dad has had a major impact on my traveling experiences. He has been out of the country 25 times and 13 of those to Europe. Convincing my parents to let me go took a little time but I laid the facts out for them and because I fully funded the trip by myself and my dad has been out of the country so many times he wanted me to experience some of the things that he has."

Yawn said the phrase "Don't just go. Lead," caught her attention because of her love for crossing things off her bucket list.

"I always have to find something else to cross off my bucket list. I am in a constant pursuit to become a better person and help others and how am I supposed to do that if I'm not a leader? So it was almost like a challenge to me. Don't just go. Lead. Take something from this and bring it home. I know that I'll be pushed to my limits in a great way on this trip and I'm ready to grow," she said.

Lawrence will be leaving May 10 for Cape Town, South Africa, and said she chose this trip from all others because it allows her to do services for the community.

"We will be working in the community there in South Africa. I picked this trip because it allowed me to do service and experience multiple things. We will do a summer camp type thing so we will be working with the children and learning from them as well. We will get to hike Table Mountain and get to see the penguins on Boulder Beach and at the tail end of the trip I have the opportunity to bungee jump from the tallest bridge in the word, go on a safari, go on a walk with lions, and go cage diving with great whites," she said.

Yawn said she is excited for the trip and knows it will be life-changing because she will be experiencing wonderful things despite the fact that she doesn't know anyone else in her group.

"I've seen the impact of traveling and doing outdoor things before in my life. You are in a new, and in a way uncomfortable, environment. All of these experiences have forced me out of my comfort zone and the fact that I'm going on this trip and I don't know a soul, that's going is terrifying, but I hope that it will be rewarding and worth it. So I definitely think as soon as I get to the airport that will be life changing in the sense that I don't know anyone. I'm excited to make connections will college students from different schools though," she explained.

Yawn stressed the importance of taking the opportunity to travel when you're young because the future is so unpredictable.

"It is imperative that you take these opportunities while you're young because you never know what obstacles might keep you from going later. Health, finances, and jobs could be huge obstacles that prevent you from traveling. It's important to take them now when no ones holding you back and focus on yourself, and becoming a better person for a future spouse, of becoming a better future employee. People don't think about these things. The animals that I will see, some of them are endangered and it's important to become a leader now so that actions can be taken and prevent these amazing animals from becoming extinct," she said.

Yawn added that some of her favorite experiences while traveling abroad were interacting with the people that were raised from those countries and truly experience the culture.

"Although we stayed in hotels we also stayed in people's home in Paris and Budapest, which was so eye opening and different. The family in Paris was able to show us around and show us the dynamics of their family's life. We ate dinner in their backyard one night and swam in their pool, which is rare for a Parisian family to have. I am more grateful and more knowledgeable now. Not every one gets to experience these things so I'm very appreciative of the opportunities that have come my way," she said.

Yawn is known for her wit and great sense of humor so one can only imagine the silly things that happened on trips with her family.

When asked what were some of the funniest moments she has experienced she said, "Well for one, I think the Yawn family was the biggest tourist attraction in Europe for sure. It's very hard to travel and navigate when you don't know the language or know what train to take. Being with your family for 17 days straight is hard; it's hard for anyone but you learn to communicate and become a better person because of it."

Yawn is not sure what her future holds but knows she will only grow through these experiences.

She added, "I'm not sure what I want to do yet. But I want to impact others and make a difference and do something that other people would never even think of like work for Red Bull. There's so much I want to do with life like be a financial advisor or be a young life leader or a graphic designer. I'm all over the place."