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 YAV year. 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 year 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 with a second YAV year in New York City. Given the range of issues in the city and community of justice-minded Christians, my hope is to deepen the lessons from Colombia while discerning how I might wage peace in whatever follows.