Where is she now?

If the person in question is last year’s Teen of the Year, Lydia Estes, that question ought to be taken quite literally.

Estes has completed her first year at Wofford College in South Carolina where she is working on a double major in Spanish and government that has the potential to allow her to study abroad in such places as Cuba and Nicaragua, and Morocco or Prague.

“It’s always been my dream to travel, and I never would have expected how much could happen in just a few months,” Estes said.

The travels begin this summer with a 10-week internship in Tanzania where she will work with a social enterprise called Silver Leaf Academy. She will visit the schools, meet with the families and children as well as meet with government officials.

“I’ve always been really passionate about education, and so this is a great opportunity because Silver Leaf is working to provide affordable English and technology-based education for their focus or target group, the Masai children,” Estes said.

Estes credits the Teen of the Year award with allowing her to fulfill a lifelong dream. Wofford College has January Term classes during which students can study in an area outside of their discipline. When Estes learned that a math teacher would be leading a trip to Mount Everest’s base camp, she signed up, knowing that Teen of the Year scholarship she had won will cover the cost.

“When I sat in your seat a year ago, I never could have imagined that was going to make a dream come true,” Estes said.

She used her story to encourage the new class of honorees to take advantage of every opportunity as it presents itself in college, no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time.

“You never know what decision might be the one that leads you to your Everest,” Estes said.

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