Cortney Lhota is a clinically certified speech language pathologist and the co-owner of District Speech, located in the Washington D.C./Maryland area. A foodie traveler, Cortney is looking forward to sharing her expertise and putting her taste buds to the test this November in Medellín.
Why have you decided to participate in a Venture with Impact program?
I made the decision to participate in Venture with Impact after deciding I wanted to travel abroad for a longer period of time. I knew I wanted to do some sort of volunteer work while I was gone and when my friend sent me a link for Venture with Impact, a program which would match me with a partner organization that aligns with my skill set, and allows for opportunities to connect with other international professionals and locals, I knew I had to be a part of it.
What are you most excited about in participating with VWI?
I’m very excited about the opportunity to use my background, experiences, skills and to incorporate things that I love into my volunteer experience. Something that drew me specifically to the Venture with Impact program is that volunteer experiences are not one-size-fits-all, but instead are individualized and fit to the person based on their skill set and what they most enjoy doing.
What are you most excited about for living in Medellín?
I think I’m most excited about exploring a new city. I’ve heard such great things about Medellin. I’m also looking forward to eating yummy food, getting to know the city, meeting and connecting with other volunteers and locals, and working on my Spanish.
Which aspect of Colombian culture are you most interested in learning about? Why?
I love food! So I’m definitely most excited about trying all different kinds of Colombian food and maybe learning to cook some staple Colombian dishes.
What are you hoping to gain from your experience with Venture with Impact?
I hope to gain great, new connections and friendships from the experience. I also hope to leave Colombia with valuable work and volunteer experience, that I likely wouldn’t be able to gain anywhere else.
What type of impact are you hoping to make, personally and/or with your volunteer role?
Personally, I hope I’m able to inspire others to take a leap of faith and finally do something they’ve been wanting to do for a long time. To not listen to any fear-based thoughts they may have and just dive in. Through my volunteer role, I hope to use my skill set to relay all the information I’ve gathered over the years, both personally and professionally, to as many people as I can. And if something I say or do helps/resonates with just one person who needs it most, I’d be very proud of that.
If you could only do one dance move for the rest of your life, what would it be? Explain.
I’d have to go with ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ by the Bangles. It’s an oldie but goodie! As a little girl I remember listening to this song in the car and dancing to it on repeat.
If you could redesign the food pyramid without any dire health consequences how would it look?
My food pyramid would undoubtedly call for multiple servings per day of all the sweets… muffins, cookies, cake, ice cream. And maybe equal amounts of veggies, to balance it all out.