Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019

Stepping UP

One young Bahamian male student will get to have an extraordinary experience this summer, spending 10 amazing days in Washington, D.C. and New York City (NYC), where he will adopt in-demand leadership skills; gain diverse perspectives from peers around the world for an opportunity to step into the role of a global leader; learn from, and interact with, subject matter experts; study the art of cross-cultural communication; and be empowered to fully realize the power of his potential.

Koen E. Dean, an Aquinas College student who is completing 11th grade, will join outstanding high school students at the Global Youth Leadership Conference (GYLC), a unique academic and career-oriented development experience that is said to provide world experiences for 21st century leaders.

“GYLC is a great opportunity for high-achieving scholars to get outside the classroom and see, through hands-on interactive learning, how to innovate and think creatively,” said Andrew Potter, chief academic officer for Envision, a career and college readiness program. “These students, who have already proven themselves academically, will be challenged to work on real-world, student-created projects to bring their studies and career interests to life.”

While Dean is not the first Bahamian to participate in the conference, like previous participants, he had to be nominated by his school.

GYLC is part of the Envision family of programs that enable students to explore their interests and experience learning beyond the classroom. It will take place June 18-27 in Washington, D.C., and July 16-25 in New York.

Participation in GYLC will allow Dean to interact and network with other youth leaders from all over the world as he gains leadership skills and insights which will position him to have a positive impact in his school community and amongst his peers. He will be eligible to receive college credit from George Mason University upon completion of the program.

During the 10 days, top business leaders, policy officials, lobbyists, journalists, diplomats and academics from diverse cultures and backgrounds will exchange ideas with Dean and his peers and help them cultivate critical leadership skills.

In a cultural travel proponent to the program, Dean will also get the opportunity to explore Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City and their illustrious landmarks. In Washington, D.C., he will get to visit the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial, Smithsonian Institute and Holocaust Museum.

In Philadelphia, he will have lunch and explore the University of Pennsylvania campus on their way to NYC, where they will visit museums such as the MET, MoMa and Guggenheim, and enjoy a dinner cruise on the New York Harbor, where they can catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.

He will also take part in site visits to the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York City, the world’s home of international peacekeeping; U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., where he will receive a briefing on diplomacy from subject matter experts; and international embassies in Washington, D.C., where he will get to see diplomacy at work, first-hand.

Dean will also be thrown into real-world simulations that will allow him to step into his role as a global leader by using communication and negotiation skills to bring his peers to a consensus on an issue of worldwide importance. In a global summit simulation, which may be held at the UN headquarters, he and his peers will act as diplomats representing various countries on international commissions. They will draft policy proposals; debate current issues, such as international drug trafficking, global warming, nuclear proliferation and foreign aid; pass resolutions and adopt plans of action.

The cost of Dean’s participation in GYLC is $2,995, which covers registration and conference fees as well as travel, transportation, lodging and meal expenses.

The honor roll student, who will graduate high school in 2019, has taken to crowdfunding to raise funds to defray expenses. On his gofundme/kdeanleadership account that he opened four months ago, Dean has raised $1,295 of his $3,500 goal.

Dean’s short-term goal is to attend university and major in kinesiology with a concentration in exercise philosophy. Long term, he aspires to become a sports medicine physician specializing in physiotherapy.

Not only an honor roll student, he is a student athlete and a member of his school’s basketball and soccer teams. He is also his 11th grade class vice president.

Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 students in more than 145 countries, with programs designed to help students develop the leadership, scholarship and career skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive college and career landscape.


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