My trip to Nanjing, China, as a student co-facilitator was an experience that taught me a vast amount about an exciting time for education and sustainability work. As well as learning a tremendous amount about myself as a student pushing for more youth empowerment in this field. I was extremely fortunate to have worked with twenty-two passionate and engaged students who are eager to change the way the world thinks about K-12 and sustainability education. Not to mention working with the faculty who were just as ambitious to learn more about this growing field.
Among the twenty-two students were teenagers who shared numerous similarities with me, the only main difference was that I had already been exposed to the possibilities youth are beginning to have access to. The most inspiring parts of the workshop was when I saw the students click with the idea that they have the power to make some significant changes in the world. The interactive and engaging activities that I co-facilitated demonstrated just how much there is to learn about the way we think and the possibilities that a new way of thinking forges. The polished activities that the students facilitated with their own teachers revealed that everyone has things to learn and that the educational community is excited to learn.
Nanjing was an unimaginable experience for me; however, what excites me the most is picturing the next steps forward. It is unmistakably clear that the right things are being done when students come back from their own workshops asking, “So, what are we going to do next.”
Submitted in cooperation with Kaymin Martin-Burnett, 2016, as a Grade 10 student of UWCSEA East Campus Singapore and co-facilitator of Student Empowerment Training Programme for Compass Education at Nanjing International School, China