Pescadero High School student Jacqueline Nabor has dreams of moving across the country, attending New York University and becoming a lawyer. She’ll get a taste of those dreams when the 16-year-old attends the Odd Fellows United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth Program.
Nabor was selected as the 2020 delegate to go to the East Coast to learn about American history and the United Nations.
“She impressed us with her grasp of the social situations she’s been in for the four years around her high school,” said Sandra Gleichmann, who is coordinating the program for the Half Moon Bay Odd Fellows Ocean View Lodge 143. “... Her understanding was quite mature in that regard.”
As part of her application process, Nabor wrote an essay about world affairs and answered questions about herself, her community and her leadership. She chose to write about immigration and drew from some of her relatives’ experiences.
Then came the interview. After talking to a panel of eight interviewers, Nabor was asked to step outside for a few minutes.
“It was really emotional,” she said. “I was shocked. I didn’t know I would be told that instant. ... They told you in less than 10 minutes that you’ve won and you’re going to New York and you’re not paying anything. It’s insane.”
The program started in 1949, and the lodges pay the students’ way.
“... (To) win something like this where they go back east to New York City, this is life-changing in many ways for these people, but it’s scary,” Gleichmann said, referencing the apprehensions some parents have when their children win such awards.
Nabor said her parents were thrilled, but also a little nervous. She’s concerned about getting lost in the big city.
“I do feel like if you want to be a leader and make things different in this world you have to know a lot of tools,” she said. “You have to get out of your comfort zone and actually do different things.”
The 12-day summer trip will feature a scholarship competition, speech contest, trips to museums, the Statue of Liberty, the U.N. building, Broadway and more.
“Going to New York is a big opportunity because all I see is trees, towns,”
Nabor said. “I don’t go beyond California. I’ve always wanted to meet new people, new cultures, new environments because it’s so closed off here. We’re all the same and we all see the same. If I stay here and don’t see beyond Pescadero, beyond California, I feel like I’ll never grow as a person.”