As a junior in high school the topic of college and 'life after high school' has come up quite a lot, and whenever it does I can never give a full response as to what my plans are for after high school. Since last year I had made up my mind about wanting to go into a field and apply sustainability to it. I wasn't sure how I would accomplish that but a while back I was on the ASU School of Sustainability website and came upon a subpage titled Master of Sustainable Solutions (MSUS).
According to the website, the MSUS is "designed to prepare students to apply sustainability principles and approaches to careers in a variety of fields, addressing complex human and environmental challenges." MSUS allows students to specialize in one of these tracks:
- Policy & Administration
- Technology & Society
- International Development
- Nonprofit Organization
All of these five different fields of work allow student with a MSUS to be able to bring sustainable thinking into their work area. Their knowledge will allow these students to have the necessary skill sets to introduce sustainable practices, theory and method into various " corporate, government, and NGO sectors." What distinguishes the MSUS from other sustainability based programs at ASU is that within this program the students get the opportunity work on an internship and projects where there knowledge on sustainable solutions can be applied to the career they chose. These two opportunities will allow the student to work on real-world sustainable solutions, similar to what the CREST program does. ASU proudly states that, "this practical experience will position MSUS graduates perfectly in today's competitive knowledge job market."
For sure one of my options for college would be going to ASU and getting my MSUS.
The other day I was reading an article highlighting various strides towards defeating extreme poverty. I was very intrigued with this article because of the title "The End Of Extreme Poverty?", I thought there is no way that we could be anywhere near close to reaching the end of poverty.
But according to the World Bank, from 1980 to present day, the amount of people in developing countries that are living in extreme poverty “has been reduced from 1 in 2… to 1 in 5”. The objective is to reduce this number to zero by as early as 2030. This improvement can be due to the innovations in technology, sanitation, health, education and farming. In rural parts of Kenya, eye exams can be provided via smartphones. Diseases are dying out in many third world countries due to better water sanitation and increased vaccinations being given. In 7988 350,000 cases of polio were found and that number has decreased to 123 in 2012. On top of the improved diseases control, the quality and quantity of people being educated has increased, the global literacy rate has increased 8% in the last 10 years. As stated in the article, “ The world of extreme poverty…..may now finally be on its way out”.
Although, we live in a first world country and are not faced with such devastating rates of poverty, such as the case is in third world countries, we are still faced with a significant amount of poverty within the states. Because of how our government is set up, we are lucky to have support and assistance if we are ever found without food or medical care. Sadly, this is not the case in third world countries and because of this over the years we have witnessed a high rocketing rate of poverty. The poverty status of these other countries directly and indirectly affects us in more than one way. Which is why it is important to help decrease the rate of extreme poverty, not just for our generation but for generations that are to come.
“I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right.”– Malala Yousafzai Two weeks ago, in my American History class we were assigned to read an issue of The New York Times Upfront magazine. The cover story was about a sixteen year Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot on October 9, 2012 by the Taliban for her courageous efforts to speak out for the rights of girls, especially education rights, in her homeland.
Malala lives in a Taliban controlled and strict country that, according to Upfront ®, has banned music, dance and many personal freedoms. Among these banned freedoms the right for girls to go to school is included. Critical conditions are found in Pakistan, “the Taliban [use] violence to spread fear and enforce their rules.” Malala and her father started to go against the Talibans opinions on girls receiving an education which “ won them many admirers- and many enemies”. Among these enemies was the Taliban, Malala along with her family received various threats from the Taliban. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, two years ago, Malala was shot on the left eye as she was coming home from school.
Shortly after she had recovered, Malala spoke at the U.N about her beliefs on education. She stated that the Taliban are afraid of change, they fear equality amongst everyone and what it can lead to. She also highlighted how in many parts of the world terrorism and wars have prevented children from going to school, as she mentioned "peace is necessary for education". An example being how in India, many children are victims to child labor and cannot attend school. Furthermore, in September she received the International Children's Peace Prize, she was is the youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Malala Fund aims to change the fact that many girls are denied an education. Their solutions are " girl-centric approaches to education that support the Fund’s goal of creating a world where every girl reaches her true potential."
I am currently the president of PVHS New Global Citizens club and this semester we are continuing to focus on universal education. I've come to realize that in the United States most students who attend school don't fully grasp the idea that our education is given to our hands here. The education we receive is mostly seen as a right, but in reality it is a privilege. Malala’s inspiring story shows us that there are kids out there who are more than willing to put their lives on the line just to receive an education. Throughout the year I have made it a goal to make sure NGC’s club members understand the importance of education and the importance of providing the less fortunate with the opportunity to be educated.
I have been more than inspired by this young education rights activists. For the past couple of months I have been stressing out over what I want to do with my life. After reading about Malala and her efforts toward girls education rights I realized that I love helping people, especially those who are in need; which is when I decided that I want to educate people, so in other words I want to be a teacher. One of my biggest goals in life is to make a difference, but I realized that I don't need to do something grand to reach that. I've thought a lot about going to a third world country and teaching children there, I'm not really sure how I would get there. At this point I'm thinking that it would all be through volunteer work and I would not be paid, but honestly I don't care about the money. I love helping people and just the feeling of knowing that you are helping these children is enough of a reward. I've put a lot of thought into this and I realize that life in a third world country is nothing compared to how I live now, yes it will be hard but I don't mind. And this is coming from a girl who can't sleep if there's a fly in her room, talk about a change! But I am so passionate about helping others that I'm willing to give all these luxuries away, I feel as if I kind of have to do this. All my life I have had zero struggles, I've been lucky enough to be given everything to me and although I know that it is not my fault, I feel like I should stop having the quality of life that I have and go out and experience something different. It sounds crazy but I feel as if by diminishing the quality of life that I have I will become a better person.
(Tuesday, January 1, 2013):
It's the second semester of junior year. This means I have about four months left until I become a senior; four months until the reality that I will be graduating will finally sink in. I honestly don't think that something as life changing as graduating high school can ever become easy to think about, at least not for me. I am constantly wondering what my senior friends are thinking about; they have four months until graduation, and then what happens? It's so strange to think that in about four months they will be going out into "the real world", how does one fully grasp that concept. It may be that I am the only who is scared, excited, nervous, sad, happy and disgusted by this huge idea that in about a year and four months I too will be going out into "the real world".
I get easily overwhelmed when I start thinking about life after high school, especially college. A few days ago I was reading a NU student blog about picking the right college. The following excerpt was taken from the blog:
"Figuring out where you want to go to college is a huge task. We spend our whole childhood going through school to prepare for college and that crazy little thing called “the real world.” At the end of 12 years of mandatory schooling, we stop and realize that we don’t know what to do next. We know that eventually we have to get a job so we can take care of ourselves and maybe a family one day."
That excerpt really made me think about making the right choice for a college and there were thousands of questions running through my head, such as:
- Where do I want to go?
- Where do my parents want me to go?
- Where would I be most happy?
- What do I want to study?
Of all those questions the one that is stopping me from establishing a concrete college plan is the last one. How am I suppose to figure out where I want to go if I can't even decide on what I want to do? I think that it's a bit unfair to have high school students choose what the rest of their life is going to be like at such a young age. Since kindergarten our education has been set up for us, everything we learn has been chosen by others, so then how is it that they only give us one choice to make in our entire education and that one choice is pretty much the most important choice you're ever going to make. Then again their are a lot of students who have their entire future planned out. How do they do that? Over the past month I have been thinking a lot on what I want to do and I narrowed my options, I either want to go into the teaching or fashion marketing industry. Through out the past three years of being in CREST Sustainability, my passion for the subject has increased immensely, so much that I want to do something with it in the future. The amazing thing about sustainability that Mr.Bernier has drilled into my head is that sustainability can be applied to any job field. Now the issues that I am faced with is that I don't know what other field to go into. The NU student blog
states that when it comes to choosing what you want to major in, not everyone is happy on their first choice. "Statistics show that the average person will change their job at least seven times. It is not surprising then that statistics also show that the average college student will change their major three times."
With that in mind, I guess it would be easier to pick, but its really not. I don't want to live my life changing jobs every time I find myself being unhappy. I'm hoping that by the end of junior year I will have all of this figured out.
( Monday, October 7,2013): We have been back to school for 2 months now. And although it might seem like a short time these past two months have been really exhausting in both a good way and a bad way. This blog should have been written a while back but since I have been so busy I was not able to blog.
My schedule isn't to hard this semester but it's also not that easy. I have Honors Chemistry 1-2, STEM Collaborative, Honors Spanish 5-6 and English 5-6. Chemistry isn't too hard. I failed that class last year and that is why I have to retake it again this semester. The good thing is that I have the same teacher and I saved all the papers from last year and they have been helping me out a lot. My goal is to actually pass the class with an A. STEM Collaborative has been by far my most stressful class. The stressful part is that my team members don't help me out too much with our project and its become a serious issue. I have found myself staying up late working on their part of our project. Some days they work and some they don't. It's one of those things where I'm going to have to deal with it and sooner or later start taking control of them. I just hope that we do a good job in our project. I'm scared because I have a feeling that I'm going to go crazy by the end of the semester. Spanish is probably one of the easiest classes I have this semester. It's easy because I grew up speaking spanish but at times it can be stressful, the good things
(Sunday, May 19, 2013): Last Thursday (May 16) we had our end of the year CREST Symposium, this is where we formally present our research projects. I always think back to the first time I did something like this; which was freshman year at the ASU Quanta symposium. I think about how nervous and scared I was, how I did not want to be there and I really wish that CREST didn't make you do this. Now I think of how silly I was to ever think like that. Since then I have fallen in love with the idea of presenting in front of people the way we do in the symposiums. It doesn't make me scared or nervous anymore and I look forward to these every year now. I now also realize how thankful I am for opportunities like these. It's not often that a high school student has the chance to practice and improve public speaking at a level like this. So with that I say: Thank you CREST. My freshman friends from Sustainability, including my mentee, experienced their first symposium and I believe they did an amazing job. They appeared to be more nonchalant then I was when I was a freshman. I am very proud of them all and of everyone who presented. I love these symposiums because not only do I get the chance to inform others of what I have been doing all semester, why I have been going mad because I am so stressed out, but I get to learn about others projects. I get to learn about the sustainability students research because of the end of the year final presentation we have in class, but I am happy to learn about my non-sustainability friends projects. Overall my group received a lot of attention from people and I was so happy to show everyone all our hard work. With the end of the research project I felt as if a big weight had been lifted off my shoulder. I am excited for next year's symposium.
(Friday, May 10th): It is almost twelve a.m and I am still awake on a Friday night. This would seem like a great thing for a teenager to do but not for me. Not when you are teenager jam packed with work for the weekend who is in need of sleep. I thought I would write a quick blog on the whereabouts of my life currently. Here are the major things that have been going on with me:
You can say I have a lot things going on especially with the week and a half of school left. For this weekend this is what I plan and MUST get done with:
- Semester Research: Our poster is due this Monday, first thing in the morning Progress? I will receive no sleep this weekend because I will probably be staying up late working on it. My team members have been doing a great job in helping me with everything for the research but most times I find myself being the only one doing work. Frustrating? Yes. For three days straight I stayed up until almost one a.m with my friend John Caviness skyping and working on our poster. And can I just say I love technology It is amazing to know how much you can get done with all the neat technological tools (such as skype and chatting). I absolutely am very thankful to live in an era where there is a major technological movement developing everyday. For the weekend I will be working on the poster and hopefully finishing it up by Sunday. The only thing that really bothers me is that my teammates don't have too much time to work on this and I don't like having to stay up late because they couldn't manage to fit a time to work on the project. It irritates me. Beside the poster we all need to finish up writing the papers, and of course I feel as if I will be the only working on them. I hope to finish all the papers by Tuesday and finish our Prezi by Wednesday. I really hope I receive help from them.
- AP Euro: Guess who took their last AP Euro test this week? I did. It was one of those moments where you just think "It's finally over" and then you realize "Oh wait it isn't I still have a final". Either way I am more than halfway done with that class. I will have to make time to study at least two hours every day for the final. This is where a "Todo List" app comes in handy. Oh technology!
- Math: Yikes! I have a very low C in math class and I aim to raise that to a B. I plan on taking as many of the extra credit quizzes my teacher has available. Again I need to make time for this.
- Sustainability: I just finished cleaning up my website and I will work on getting it ready for my competency meeting in two weeks. I also need to finish the assignments I have missed.
- Dance Show: Today I went to see my best friends dance show and it felt amazing to be able to hang out with my friends and not worry about work. Afterwards my good friend Alex drove us all to get a late night snack. That is when i realized " I need my permit/license". Especially if I plan on getting a job next year. Oh the perks of growing up.
- Summer: I am more than ready for summer. I plan to leave to California the first week of June and stay there until mid-July. I am excited to spend time with my family and most importantly not get on this laptop. Laptop=work. The last thing I want to think about during summer is work.
Something tells me this is going to be a long weekend...
- Finish poster
- Finish 1/2 of Semester Research papers
- Start on Prezi for Semester Research
- Finish current event
- Go get my mom a mothers day gift
- Do some much needed shopping
- Help brother with science fair project
- Plan next NGC meeting
- Chores and what-nots
(Tuesday, April 23th,2013):Yesterday, Monday April 22, PVHS NGC club hosted their second club meeting. Before every meeting we have I get a bit nervous and excited. Nervous because I'm scared that as we continue along this path we are going to get less and less people, and excited because maybe we might get more people. Throughout this process of managing a club such as New Global Citizens I have become really passionate about this organization and about just the idea of helping others and fundraising I have always been keen to the idea of fundraising because if done correctly it can be tons of fun. Anyways, in our meeting we discussed these topics:
- Talking about the NGC team box that we received two weeks ago. Discussing what was included:
- Paint and arts and crafts items which are to help us in creating posters.
- Paint and stencils to be used to create t-shirts or posters.
- A numerous amount of guides and booklets which are to assist us in successfully managing the club
- Numerous amount of NGC buttons which we will use to advertise our club.
- Going more in depth on the global issues. Because of the huge impact that this global issue will have on the club we don't want to rush in the process of electing the topic. What we did was we talked about each global issue; providing our member with further information about the issues. Informing our members is one of the key factors that goes into maintaining a successful chapter of NGC at PVHS. Because we knew how big of a deal this was, we came up with the idea of having each of our members write 5-7 sentences about the topic that most interest them telling us why we should decide to focus on that one. We provided them with the document explaining the global issues in depth to use as a reference. With this small assignment we hope to make the process of choosing an issue to focus on a bit more personal. Because I know that I wouldn't want to partake in an organization that focuses on something that I have zero interest in. At some level we aim to be able to open up or start a passion in each of members we hope to make them passionate about this club and the idea of fundraising and advocating change in whatever topic they wish to pursue.
We will be choosing our global issue in the next meeting. The voting process will be entirely made up of our members because its their club. I know for sure that we will not be able to start any fundraising this semester due to 1. the semester is almost over and 2. We would have needed to organize this event much prior due to the difficulties between clubs and student council. But I just can't explain my excited and eagerness that this club brings to me. I love seeing our members show up and I truly hope that they are as passionate as I am about this. I have no regrets about tackling something as big as this; and there is no possible way that I could have done this without my two other officers, my sustainability instructor and of course the NGC organization.
(Saturday,April 6 2013): Yesterday, Friday April 5th, NGC had their very first club meeting after school. As president of the club I was very excited for this meeting because the sooner we start meeting the sooner we can create projects. The officers had been planning this meeting two weeks before, we wanted to make sure that we gave everyone enough time to figure out whether they could make it or not and plus that gave us more time to advertise our club. We made flyers that we handed out to our friends and classmates. Besides the flyers we announced our meeting on our FB page, I made sure to invited all of my friends who went to PV ( a total of 139).
ut of all the ones that got invited we only had 10 show up; which honestly is better than nothing. Most of the people who showed up were CREST Sustainability students, only two were non-CREST students. In the long run we hope to have more non-CREST students involved in this club so they can then take their knowledge and advocate it to the rest of the school. The first meeting was mainly to inform everyone what the club was about, in case anyone was confused. We explained how basically this club will be doing a lot of fundraisers and informing our school about the global issues of today and inspiring our PVHS campus to learn more about them and to help promote well-being and peace in these issues. NGC has worked to create a phenomenal website for everyone involved. On the website they can find out more information on the club as well as have access to our calendar (which will come in handy in finding out meeting dates,event dates ext.), we also provided our email addresses in case they wish to contact us. We explained how we need them to tell their friends about us, because the more people we have the more projects and then more change can occur.
Aside from informing the members we also wanted to get to know them a little bit better and not make things so professional in the club which is why we chose to play a game to get to know them. The game went very great and I was really content with the outcome.
In the end I was more than happy with the result of the meeting. Everything flowed smoothly and I believe that they left knowing a lot more about the club. Our next meeting is on April 19th and we hope to see even more people show up.