YLC China 2015 was a conference unlike any of our other conferences! Instead of being a week spent with one group and developing a social change project, we tried out a different approach with the students at the International School of Beijing.
Not only did we have the chance to work with 7th graders, but 10th graders and also recent graduates. The 7th graders in the Futures Academy had spent all year working on a social change project that was similar to one that we would typically focus on. So instead of developing the project, it was our job to teach the students how to present and pitch their projects. Not only did we learn how to make mission statements, communicate effectively, timeline, and get creative, but the students also made videos about their projects! We also worked with 10th graders who engaged in similar projects. Lastly, we had the incredible opportunity to speak with ISB graduates. We guided them through self-awareness exercises to prepare themselves before heading off to college. This included becoming aware of our life stories, our values, and goals.
This was personally the first conference that I ever taught! It was such an incredible experience. My favourite part was connecting with the students. They were so passionate about learning more about themselves and how to change the world through little steps. Once given the tools, they could learn how to start thinking about how to do this in small but tangible ways. One of my favourite activities involved thinking of "multiple uses" of one object, like a pen or a pillow. These students came up with more than fifty uses of one object! We transitioned this into demonstrating that there are numerous ways to solve or think about a problem. I was so amazed at how creative they were.
Thank you so much for the incredible staff for hosting us at ISB, and we are so excited to come back in the future (especially for the dumplings).
-Megan Gao, YLC China Director