Most teens exit high school without a clue as to what path they might follow on their life journey. Most grab a job. Many get married with over half divorcing within ten years. Others rocket into college with their parents' wallets by their sides.
(Picture of Maggie Doyne with children from her orphanage in Nepal.)
Ironically, most students read, write and perform simple math, but none received any training on how to live their lives, or better yet, how to discover what to do with their lives.
Maggie Doyne, one such high school graduate, finished school in Mendham, New Jersey. She proved herself an ambitious student: editor of her school yearbook, a varsity athlete, and the class treasurer. She felt burned out. Doyne decided to travel the world funded by her babysitting money before she jumped into college. Her earnings exceeded $7,000 from years of saving. She wanted to try her life out first before making any firm commitments. Once she figured it all out, she expected to return to earn a college degree in something that interested her.
"I took what's called a gap year," Doyne said. "I was about to make this investment in my life, but I didn't have a strong direction. I wanted to figure that out."
A month later, she landed in Asia. She witnessed horrendous poverty, human misery, and neglect not mentioned in the textbooks of her high school days. She befriended a Nepalese girl nearly her age who fled Nepal because of civil war. Once Doyne arrived, the poverty and displacement of children appalled her.
Doyne created a Nepali board of directors and established an orphanage: Kopila Valley Children's Project. She formed an NGO by using her last $5,000 to buy a boarding house. This, mind you, at the tender age of 22 years.
Orphans moved into her house as fast as they could find directions. She realized her dream by engineering it into existence with the force of her intentions.
"I could see exactly what I wanted," she said. "I had visited orphanages. I could create a model that works based on how I grew up. I want these kids to raise animals, to take care of each other."