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Hi everyone! I’m Naomi and I can’t wait to meet you all in just a little over a week! I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with my parents and a cat that my whole family is obsessed with (I’m an only child). Though these past few weeks have definitely been stressful trying to gather everything that I will need for next year, I am sure that it will all be worth it for such an amazing trip.


Starting college late is something, had you asked me six months ago, I would have never thought I would do. The only thing on my radar was going straight to college, and a gap year was not something that I thought was for me. But when I was applying to Princeton and read about the Bridge Year program, the opportunity was too incredible to pass up. I love traveling, learning languages, and free trips :), but most of all, I love interacting with and learning from people about their beliefs, values, and culture.


This is definitely the longest trip that I will have taken, both in distance and in time, as the only other places that I have been outside of the U.S. are Canada and Israel. I have never been away from home for longer than three weeks, so I am excited (and a little nervous) to get a chance to live with more freedom and responsibility.


Though I haven’t traveled very much outside of the U.S., I love taking road trips and have visited a large portion of the East Coast. Within the past few months, I have traveled to Boston, Chicago, NYC, Virginia Beach, and Stanford, Connecticut. I also love taking advantage of the Pennsylvania State Parks, and have been to three of them so far this summer – this picture was taken at Laurel Hill State Park where my friends and I hiked, boated, and camped for a few rainy days.


If you can’t tell already by the amount of time I willingly spent sleeping near bugs this summer, I love nature! I had an internship at a local park last summer, which was an amazing experience – I got the chance to learn about much of the wildlife in the park as well as help improve its health by building bird and bat houses, stopping erosion, putting up deer fences around the gardens, and so much more. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty, and love spending time in both city and state parks.


I also enjoy playing and listening to music in a few different forms. My music taste ranges from Alternative/Indie to Jewish choral songs to show tunes to Classical and Jazz pieces…pretty much the only genre I don’t like is country. I sing in a Jewish choir, play violin in both classical groups and in my school’s jazz band, and participate in musical theater both on stage and as a part of the pit. I am obsessed with musicals and this past week I saw Thoroughly Modern Millie – it was such a fun show!


Hope everyone has a great last week of summer! I look forward to seeing all of you soon and can’t wait for the adventures to come.