“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” Lao Tzu once wrote. These wise words certainly connect to Elliana Corbett’s journey as a Great Decisions participant. Elliana first got involved with Great Decisions during her freshman year at Jean Ribault High School after learning about the monthly after-school meetings. Since that initial step, a world of possibilities has opened for Elliana and her future.

Elliana Corbett

Corbett noted that the meetings with University of North Florida professor, Mary Avery, have been a personal highlight for her and have fueled her interest in foreign affairs and global events.  

“Great Decisions helps me understand that many of the problems we face are connected to people all over the world, and not just local issues”, Corbett expressed. “These problems are very complicated, and the solutions are going to be complicated as well.”

As a rising senior at Ribault, Corbett is described by her teachers and peers as a problem solver. After graduation she hopes to study social work and public administration, with a minor in business.

“Everything I learn from Great Decisions I want to apply to my future career in social work,” Corbett said. “These issues are affecting the people I will be working with, so understanding these issues will help me help them.”

Corbett is already involved in her local community. She volunteers with Pearls of Perfection, an organization dedicated to working with young girls to develop life skills, college readiness, and career mentorship. She also serves in partnership with her local branch of the United Way as well.

Great Decisions participants at Jean Ribault High School

When asked about Elliana, her teacher and World Affairs Council Education committee member, Ms. Phylisha Carter stated: “Elliana is truly a gem… She’s a shining example of how a student should invest in their education and future. Working with Elliana has been incredibly rewarding on a personal level. All educators and mentors live for that student that appreciates and enjoys the content. She approaches every meeting and activity with a willingness to learn; her eagerness is contagious.”

Elliana Corbett’s journey through the Great Decisions program showcases the program’s transformative power and its ability to shape students’ career paths and global perspectives. From discovering her passion for social work to forming connections with diverse individuals, Elliana’s experiences demonstrate the Great Decisions capacity to inspire, motivate, and empower young minds in Northeast Florida.

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