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Student finds passion for traveling to help those in need

Mar 4, 2011
by Danielle Marsh, '09

Will Nix may be a fine art major at Flagler College, but he’s found that his passion is really people. In the past three years, he has been everywhere from Rwanda to Haiti helping those in need.

“I felt very blessed to be able to travel while giving a helping hand,” Nix said.

Last summer he traveled to Rwanda with the intent of mapping out land for a children’s camp; however, when he arrived, the project fell through, and he ended up teaching English to children. He says the freedom, adventure and the uncertainty of travel is everything to him.

“The simplicity, freedom, stories, lessons, friends, family, the unknown and unexpected is what drives me to continue traveling,” he said.

Before Rwanda, Nix made trips to Sudan to secure supplies for the building of wells and there he helped teach the finer points of digging for clean water. It’s something that is not so easy in the Third World, Nix said. Despite language barriers, Nix found that a simple smile could cross any obstacle.

“[You realize] after spending months with someone that they are one of the closest people to you, one of your best friends, and you have barely uttered more than ‘hellos’ and ‘how are yous’ to each other because of a language barrier,” he said.

In the summer of 2008, Nix and a friend spent two months in Haiti working at hospitals treating malnourished children. Nix enjoys sharing his gifts and abilities with others who are less fortunate. Since going to Haiti, Nix is learning not to take things for granted.

During his travels, Nix learned about his strengths and weaknesses. He said, “I am learning that I am capable of much more than I ever thought possible.”

While he is enjoying his non-traveling time at Flagler, Nix is constantly looking toward the future.

“I hope to go to graduate school for architecture and focus on community planning,” he said. “I would like to create a sustainable system of communities in Third World countries.”

Nix is set to graduate in the spring of 2012 and he hopes to keep on traveling and helping those he finds along the way.

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