Holly Bull, president of the Center for Interim Programs, is one of the original Interim students. When her father, Cornelius Bull, founded Interim in 1980, it was the first gap year counseling organization of its kind in the U.S. and Holly was inspired to take a gap year before college. She followed up on interests in marine biology and Greece and split her year into volunteering at an aquaculture research institute in Hawaii and attending an academic cultural study program in Greece. She came away with a finer appreciation for learning for its own sake without the pressure of tests and grades, and the realization that she did not want to be a marine biologist.

After two years of college, Holly took a second gap year to travel in India and Nepal, attend a semester program in Athens, and engage in service work in Appalachia. Following her B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Virginia, she joined her father in his work at Interim and began counseling students through their own gap-year experiences. For two years, she also directed the U.S. office for her original program in Greece.

In 1994, Holly completed her Masters in Education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and continued her counseling work at Interim, interspersed with site visits to programs in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Europe and Turkey. She has also attended 2-4 week programs: a wilderness survival skills school, a humpback whale research project, dude ranch work, and a yoga teacher training course.

To date, Holly has placed over a thousand individuals in programs in the 20+ years that she has been counseling students (and adults) through the gap-year process. She has presented at NACAC, NJACAC, TACAC, HECA, and IECA and been a keynote speaker for many of the annual gap year fairs taking place nationwide. She and her fellow counselors have been interviewed for over 70 gap year articles and more than 15 TV and radio shows, and Interim is referenced in most books on the gap year.

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