‘KPBSD Students Swap Valuable Stories with International Peers’ by Kim Leslie + Students

This spring I worked with the Global Nomads Group (GNG) to bring my KPBSD Distance Education science students an opportunity: The option to participate in a short video-based online course with other teenagers from around the world. As GNG describes it, “youth dig into issues they are passionate about, share their stories, and explore the stories of their global peers at their own pace.” Our students focused on the topics of Ocean Health and Sports, and ultimately created action plans to benefit their local and global communities. They lit up when many of their stories were added to the global repository for their international peers to learn from too!  

“It fills me with hope and appreciation that even my small contribution in my town is part of a global initiative…”

10th grader Mia reports, “before the Global Nomads mini-course, I was aware that plastic pollution was a pressing problem throughout the world, but for me, the course created a sense of unity surrounding this global matter. It showed me that no matter our background or different cultures, plastic is a problem we all share, that unfortunately we all contribute to and that it is something we can all work together to restore.  I find it is easy to get caught up in the minuteness of my actions to clean my local environment, and sometimes my impact can feel so insignificant in relation to the enormity of plastic pollution worldwide. After reading other students’ stories on how they have positively impacted their environment, and the plans they continue to implement to reduce plastic waste, it fills me with hope and appreciation that even my small contribution in my town is part of a global initiative. This helped me understand that if we all make some small change, together we can really make an impact on reducing the plastic pollution in our world.”

10th grader Aloshia shares that, “participating in global nomads shifted my perspective in multiple ways. One way is that before participating in the mini course I didn’t know that sports made it very difficult for people with disabilities or of the opposite gender to participate. This has made me want to help make sports more accessible to all people. Also, one of the most important things is that sports play different roles in different places. For example in a school that focuses on grades or doing well academically, sports will not be looked on as important or not as important as school. But, other schools take sports super seriously and will put more effort into their sports teams. This doesn’t just go for schools, it goes for countries and states. Sports play a big role in all of our society but it may play a different role in certain places.”

Despite thousands of miles between them, our Alaskan students and their international peers were able to find common ground, glean new perspectives, and ultimately grow in areas that they are passionate about. I’m excited to work with Global Nomads again in the future; if you’re interested, check out their free Students to World program at https://gng.org/student-to-world/