My name’s Carson Smith. I’m originally from Flushing, Michigan, and recently graduated from the University of Michigan where I studied public policy. Last year, I moved to Colombia where I’ll soon complete my first year as a Young Adult Volunteer. This September, I’ll start a second YAV year with the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations in New York City.

Since coming to South America, I’ve accompanied church partners and worked with children from low-income families in an area that has been affected by the country’s internal conflict. More than anything, this time has taught me to listen carefully to the ways love, trauma, spirit and humor are embodied among peoples. (Jesus shows up too sometimes, which can be interesting.)

A curiosity in peacemaking — strengthened by my faith — has guided my time in Colombia and now compels me to continue  in New York City. Given the range of things to learn in the United Nations and community of justice-minded Christians in the city, my hope is to deepen the lessons from Colombia while discerning how I might wage peace in whatever follows.