Four 11th grade students packed their bags and traveled to the Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia for the annual, week-long International Emerging Leaders Conference. The conference brings together students from across the globe each October to discuss the economy and environment.
Byslasan Ahmed ’18, Hadil Deeb ’18, Haya Ghandour ’18, Luma Makari ’18 and faculty member Tracie Landry served as the ACS delegates among attendees from China, India, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Italy, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, and Morocco. Students reside with American families during the week to allow them to be immersed in the culture and connect with their hosts outside of the conference.
Students then participate in various panels and lectures during the day. “Each school presents an issue that their community is facing,” explained Landry. “Ours was the problem of water contamination in Lebanon and its impact on health and the economy.”
The students subsequently are divided into mixed teams from the eleven schools, and each team tackles one of the problems. Students are not permitted to design solutions to their own problems.
“ACS students worked on teams that proposed solutions for the degradation of marine life in Morocco, the sinking of the city of Venice, the decline of the honey bee population in the US, and mercury poisoning in a Kazakhstan river,” relayed Landry.
Now back at home, the four ACS students are incorporating what they learned from the conference into a project that addresses water contamination called Nour International. The girls received a number of proposals from their Emerging Leaders peers about how to enhance and expand the project. It is currently in the planning stage but will be launched soon. They are also organizing a conference next fall that focuses on social issues and will feature ‘Design Thinking.’