Gwendolyne

Fresh from graduation, everyone expected me to use my pre-medical background to work in a health science field over the summer. But Summer 2007 was different. I was not in lab or working on a research paper, yet I was still enriching my mind.

I believe that the greatest accomplishment is empowering others to expand their horizons and not settle for modest realities. My mantra is: ìuse bricks laid on the sidewalk for you to fall, into building blocks for your success.î I have mentored several high school students as well as undergraduate students, and I try to inculcate the value of culture awareness, respect, and perseverance. Therefore, I enthusiastically and willingly wanted to help Cristina Blanc and Mahroo Moshari to coordinate the Manhattan Multicultural Summer Youth program (MMSY).

I previously worked with Mahroo and Christina as a research intern at the United Nations NGO-International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) in May 2005. My experience at the United Nations inspired me to open the eyes of other students the myriad opportunities to change the world. The MMSY program was a way for me to showcase the plethora of information at the UN to high school students. It is never to early to learn about some of the social ills that plague the world, and more importantly how we can use our individual powers to transform the world. We organized an itinerary that not only exposed the fascinating culture of New York but also the cultures of the world. In this sense, we explored local to global frontiers all with a metrocard.

However, the educational process was not unidirectional. I learned from students as well. Perhaps one of the lessons learned was the importance of tolerance. Seeing the progression of the students during the program, and how they addressed stereotypes about each otherís cultures, reminded me that we as a society still need to bread down the barriers that we construct. The honestly with which the students shared their experiences, and the active learning that occurred demonstrates that discussion of issues is necessary. Discussion leads to Action. As we go forward, I am confident that the students will activate their learning experience over the summer.

 

 

ALL human beings are born FREE and EQUAL in dignity and rights. 

-Universal Declaration of Human Rights