My name is Dani Starr, and I was born and raised in San Diego, California. I now live in Israel on Kibbutz Tlalim which is about half an hour west of Be’er Sheva. I came on Aardvark Israel in 2020-2021.
The initial reason I decided to take a gap year was because of Corona. I was planning on studying Musical Theatre in college and I knew it would be really hard for me to learn online. I was debating between Aardvark Israel and another gap year program, but I loved the amount of independence I would get from Aardvark. I knew there was always going to be someone there to help me if I needed it, but I also knew I would be able to go see my cousins for dinner without a problem.
Aardvark is really what you make of it and I loved finding the balance of Aardvark experiences and the ones I made for myself.
I’m now serving as a Mashakit Tash (a social worker of sorts) in the IDF! I drafted in April and after 2 months of training was placed in a battalion of artillery where I have soldiers in the north and in the south and travel a lot in order to see them!
Aardvark Israel changed my life in probably the biggest possible way. It gave me the courage to move across the world and join the army. It gave me a love for learning that I didn’t have before. It introduced me to people that have stood by me and been there for me in so many ways until today, more than a year after finishing the program. Israel had always been a huge part of my life, but on Aardvark I experienced it in a totally different way. I grew and learned more about myself and my surroundings than I ever have in my life and for that reason, I am incredibly grateful that I chose to go on Aardvark.