From the Delegates: Advice for High School Students

By Elianna Paljug, Sophmore, Fox Chapel Area High School

Before the One Young World delegates became the incredible young change makers they are today, they were in high school. They faced the same challenges that other teens face today, and came out of the cycle as confident leaders eager and prepared to change the world.

How did they do it? Several delegates at the One Young World 2012 Summit were asked what their advice would be to high school students.

Franklin Murillo, a delegate from Costa Rica, encouraged high school students to not only “follow your dreams,” which alone he considered simply a cliché, but to plan how they will fulfill their dreams, and “create a career to accomplish that dream.” He encouraged students not to waste time as they build on their strengths and work towards their dream, so they can realize their potential while still in high school.

A delegate from Malawi, Rosebill Satha wished to tell high school students that “you have the power to change who you are and who you’re friends with.” She also explained that in her country of Malawi, only a very small minority have access to a college education. She urged high school students to not take their opportunities towards higher education for granted.

A delegate from Mauritius, Barkha Mossae advised high school students “to travel…find out about how people live . . . get the proper sense of the world.” She believes this is especially important for American high school students because America is a “beacon of hope” for developing countries. She believes that, through travel, the common stereotype that Americans have a limited world view can be alleviated.

Fatima Ali Alkhemeir of the United Arab Emirates said that it is important for high school students to speak up whenever something is not right. She wished to tell high school students that it “starts with you.” She urges high school students not to be afraid or hesitant towards public speaking, because she witnesses such fears in older generations that are detrimental to communication.

Caroline Conan, a delegate from the United States who has done a lot of work in Africa, strongly relates to American high school students of today. On the topic of being overwhelmed with competitive college application processes, she encourages students to get involved in their communities for the right reasons, because doing so for the sole purpose of packing a resume “leaves you feeling empty.” She strongly expressed that all high school students must understand that “enjoying life is the goal… don’t compromise happiness for a great resume. The resume will come because of your happiness.”

By following these guidelines, current high school students of today can become the leaders of tomorrow, and perhaps be future delegates at One Young World!

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