My name is Paola Mora and I had a problem with belonging.
My parents are missionaries and, as a result, I moved around a lot. In my twenty years of life, I have lived in eight different countries: Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Argentina, Chile, Philippines, Hong Kong and, finally, the United States.
It sucked. I just wanted to go somewhere where I belonged. I wanted to nd a culture that I could entirely embrace or a country that I could call home. Instead, I was a mix of various customs, values, and beliefs. I was like a puzzle piece that could never just quite fit in.
But as the years passed I learned about the beauty of diversity. I realized that things that separate us have the power to unite; the things that make us different are what make life worth living. When I became aware of this everything changed: It changed the way I viewed the world and the way I viewed myself.
That is why I am so excited to be working on this project. I hope that our research gives some insight into the diversity around us; its conflicts, its strengths and what it all means. I hope that this study helps others realize that unity is not always perfect but it is always beautiful.