Youth Leadership Summit on Education Equity: Reflection
By: Sarah Galindo, student at Colegio NUEVA GRANADA
It is amazing to see how big the world is in terms of diversity. The number of cultures, beliefs, looks, and stories that everyone has to share. This was something eye-opening that this Youth Leadership Summit left within my thoughts. It was really interesting to see teenagers from South Africa, Morocco, Mexico, the US, and many more who battle with issues regarding education and the lack of equity within its system, which is also a problem found in my community.
Day one of this summit was all about communication. Meeting people and their stories, listening to their goals in life, and the challenges that they have gone through.
Bella, one of the leaders of the summit, mentioned that access to wifi in her community is a privilege, as she lives in an area where wifi companies don’t find it convenient to work on. She mentioned that every time she needs to do any work regarding internet connection, she has to go to her mother's classroom, as her mother is a teacher. What impacted me the most, is that Bella lives in the US and I always believed that most of the citizens of the United States had access to wifi, little did I know I was completely wrong.
When talking about goals in life, a teenager from Washington, said that his main long-term goal was to change the information portrayed in our history textbooks as it doesn’t show who the real heroes are and factors like white-supremacy are shown in the information portrayed. Considering the impact history class has on students and the way many are formed with the ideas taught, it is something that must change, no matter the opposition. This also impacted me, as I never questioned before what I was being taught in history class in school and the power I have to identify what type of knowledge I'm absorbing.
Day two was all about finding out what personality we have and the influence that it has on bringing change and interacting with others. We used the North-East-West-South method which by answering some questions, could give us an orientation. I learned that I'm a North-Eastern. North, as I'm goal and task-driven, preferring to be in control when dealing with groups, enjoying challenges, and being courageous, not afraid to be at the front. East, as I'm visionary, thinking about the future all the time, insightful in missions and purposes, and loves to use creativity within finding solutions. However, knowing that I have these personality traits, I have to be careful with time management, have to be more patient when going through projects, and grounded in reality when thinking of ideas. This tool of learning what personality I have and my strengths and weaknesses are certainly necessary. Growing comes with interacting with many different people and personalities. Knowing how to deal with all of these factors is a huge advantage when completing goals.
Day three, the last day was the opportunity to start thinking on an action plan. This was crucial for understanding our positions and privileges. We learned about the IPARD process: Investigation, Planning, and Preparation, Action, Reflection, and Demonstration. These are the steps that should be taken into consideration when working on an objective. We saw how two girls in Bali, followed this strategy and achieved the eradication of plastic! Lessons like thinking outside the box, persistence, the power of knowledge, working with adults and knowing how to use their support without losing youth power and walking your talk even if it's tough, were incredibly important to my new insight on working within solutions for my community development.
I can proudly say that this summit was incredible, the feeling of motivation got to me. It was an opportunity to see how big the world is and how privileged I am. Knowing that, I can share my story so that I can change others' mindsets is the first step to changing the world.
All of the skills taught during this summit are certainly going to help me achieve this, as they set the foundation to do so.