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  • Writer's pictureDanielle G.

Episode 7 │ The First to Do It (LONDON)

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

photos courtesy of Hope Robinson

"That's the amazing thing about moving to a country by yourself; you're forced to get outside of yourself to meet people." (Hope, Episode 7)

Hope Robinson is a Detroit native and Michigan State University alum, and she was actually in the same political science department as me (James Madison College). While at MSU she was employed as an intercultural aide, where she enhanced students' cultural competence through activities, events, and diversity discussions. As evidenced by both her course of study and her work, Hope is exceedingly intrigued by different kinds of people and their backgrounds. It's no surprise that her interest in other cultures motivated her to try to study abroad.

She attempted to enroll in two programs, one in New Zealand, and later a different one in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, in the first case an administrator told her that she supposedly couldn't participate because she didn't have enough money. In the second case, she wasn't able to arrange all the necessary steps and paperwork in time. As a first-generation college student, she tried her best, but just didn't have the guidance and support that would have made the difference. Hope didn't get to study abroad... at least not in undergrad.

A new path full of new "firsts".

photos courtesy of Hope Robinson

Post-graduation, Hope moved to Los Angeles to work for City Year, and she took the initiative to travel internationally when she could. While her day job was mentoring and creating programs to serve "at risk" youth, her true passion was pursuing a career as an entertainer. As a dancer/model/actress, she wanted to be a star but had a difficult time figuring out the industry and the inauthenticity that seemed to be required to get ahead. It was during this time that she developed an interest in working behind the camera, and after two years of beginning to work in film, she applied and was accepted to London Film School. She relocated to London in January of this year. She'd never set foot in England before moving there, and didn't know anyone when she arrived.

Though she hasn't yet decided whether she wants to be a director or cinematographer, and she has yet to cultivate a new crew of friends because it's difficult to meet people, Hope is certain that she loves London and is passionate about growing and experimenting as a filmmaker. Her journey thus far has taught her immensely important lessons about patience, jumping into new opportunities headfirst, and being open to what comes. She's determined to keep working hard, expressing and enjoying herself, and engaging in a new path full of new "firsts". Hope can be found on Instagram (@detroitshope).

Be sure to listen to this episode, "The First to Do It (LONDON)" for more! And don't forget to check out the resource list below!


Danielle G. is the creator, host, and producer of Young, Gifted and Abroad. You can find her other writings at The music in this episode is by ProleteR.



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