Ex is a talented musician and songwriter who, at just 14 years old, already plays seven instruments! They love EXPLO for the diverse community of people and ideas, and is developing confidence by stepping outside the comfort zone engaging in conversation with them.

I can play seven instruments — piano, guitar, ukulele, flute, altosax, clarinet, and trumpet. My favorite is piano. I’ve been playing for eight years and I love it. It makes me feel like (and I’m going to sound really cheesy right now) it makes my troubles go to the back of my mind and it’s just the music — that’s all there is. It makes me forget about all the troubles that I might have. It brings joy to other people as well. It’s just a beautiful thing because it conveys so many emotions. It’s an emotional thing; it’s opening yourself up to whoever your audience is. I can feel myself grow as a person when I'm so invested in music. I write a lot of songs. They are usually about love and finding happiness — or being unable to find happiness.

I think I have grown as a person thanks to the EXPLO experience because I learn a lot of things about different people and different cultures. Everyone who is here wants to be here — they really want to be part of this community and that makes it so amazing and unforgettable. I came here because I want to gain a little more social confidence. I’m not very good at approaching people. I don’t really know how to initiate a conversation, so I just want to learn that skill. And I’ve already gotten a little closer to that goal during this first week!