LC Alumni, Priyanka, Selected as Global Teen Leader

Leadership Collective 2018 alumni, Priyanka, was recently selected as a Global Teen Leader by Three Dot Dash! See her post below to hear about her experience and how the Leadership Collective set her up for participation.

Hello Leadership Collective Friends,

I am thrilled to inform you that I am traveling to New York City tomorrow. I will be attending the 2019 Just Peace Summit to be held from 08-15 March 2019 in New York City. I will represent Nepal for the first time in this highly decorated event. I am super happy and excited for this trip and more importantly for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of meeting other Global Teen Leaders, who are changing the world with their unique, creative and innovative projects all around the world. If you want to read more about this year’s Global Teen Leaders, you can check it out at on Three Dot Dash’s page.

Three Dot Dash powers the most influential social entrepreneurs between the ages of 13-19, who have found a solution or innovation that addresses a basic human need. It is a competitive process with hundreds of applicants. Their selection criteria can be found here.

I went through the selection process mentioned above which started in early September 2019. It was a very tough and lengthy process. I feel lucky and privileged to be selected as a Global Teen Leader and now I look forward to a great opportunity of learning, sharing and networking that Three Dot Dash will provide to me and other fellow global teen leaders with our projects. 

As you all know, the first international trip I ever did was to India in July/August 2018 with the Leadership Collective of Three Sixty Plus (360+). It was truly a great program where I met amazing students from the United States, South Africa and India. Nepal was participating for the first time in this program through me. I learned so many new ideas and gained valuable experiences from experts, facilitators, speakers and wonderful Sridar, Caitlin, Eli, and Rougye. That trip gave me a different outlook on life and the world by teaching me mainly on the theme of Adaptive Resilience in a Changing World. As an avid traveller, the contents of the Leadership Collective was super relevant to me, it was filled with learning through traveling. By attending Leadership Collective, I gained more confidence, exposed to the outside world and build a solid network with everyone I met during the trip, which I will cherish forever. 

Namaste!

Priyanka 

Kathmandu, Nepal

2018 Leadership Collective Trip Report

The 2018 Leadership Collective saw our largest and most diverse group yet, with updates in technology and travel from South to North India. We had 33 students in total, from the US, India, Nepal, and South Africa. These learners represented 13 different US cities, six Indian states, four locations in South Africa, and one city in Nepal. It was the first time that learners from outside the US and India were invited to apply, and their perspectives really added to the program.

The theme of the trip was Adaptive Resilience in a Changing World. Through pre-departure assignments and experiential learning in Hyderabad, Kuppam, Bangalore, Dharamshala, and Delhi, students explore climate resilience, community and cultural resilience, and emotional resilience.

The program officially ended 8th August, but our alumni daily communicate, and we’re looking forward to engaging in what they do next!

Pre-Departure Learning

  • Once selected, learners joined our virtual classroom for four months where they completed assignments related the theme, prepared for the trip to India, and built community.
  • Housed in Google Classroom, learners across geographies were able to connect with each other and trip leaders.
  • In one assignment students shared how their home communities were resilient on a thread of #mycommunity.

“Hello. I am from the Pueblo of San Ildefonso. My tribal community of Poh Woh Geh Owingeh can be symbolized by this tree. It is one of the oldest trees in our pueblo.”

“One of the challenges I face with living in America is the growing tensions of Islamaphobia that targets millions of peaceful Muslims such as myself. In my Muslim community, the brothers and sisters of the youth gather together each Wednesday…”

“The culture in my community is very limited. Even when culture is or isn’t important there are always many ways of finding ways to move past the differences in our community. ”

Three Weeks in India

Hyderabad — Orientation

  • Flying in from around the world and around India, the 2018 Leadership Collective learners met in Hyderabad, Telangana to kick off the experiential learning component of the trip. For manylearners, it was their first time flying.
  • Orientation was at Dr. Reddy’s Campus, where students began to build relationships, dig into the program theme, and explore India through food and a scavenger hunt around Charminar.
  • A highlight of this time was dinners in small groups at Dr. Reddy’s employees’ family homes. Learners enjoyed experiencing meal-time at local homes.
  • As part of orientation, learners also participated in site visits at Dr. Reddy’s Skilling Centers and Naandi Foundation NStar centers. At the NStar centers, students interacted with girls of their age, sharing the challenges both groups faced.
  • Four Indian alumni of the 2017 program joined us for Orientation as well!

Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh — Climate Resilience

  • To begin our Climate Resilience learning unit, we traveled to the Agastya Foundation campus in Kuppam. Kuppam is located on the border of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Agastya’s campus is a large learning center filled with both incredible science-learning facilities and beautiful nature.

  • At Agastya, groups of learners were assigned a local climate-related challenge. For example, one group had organic waste management while another had crop management. Each group learned about the challenge in the field, and then created a prototype to address this challenge over a few days.
  • In the evenings, we held group discussions overlooking the campus. One night, we also visited a local after-school program. The local students and our learners had a lot of fun sharing songs, dances, and laughs. Any interaction with local students or children was a highlight for our Leadership Collective learners.

  • On the final day, groups presented their projects in the auditorium. The organic waste management group prototyped a new composter that they made on Agastya’s 3D printer. The crop management group presented a mockup of a seed bank to understand which seeds will work well in Kuppam’s environments, for example.

Bangalore, Karnataka — Climate to Cultural Resilience

  • A day in Bangalore provided a break from rural life. First, learners traveled to Electronic City to visit the Infosys campus. They heard from women leaders in the company and toured the campus and board room. Many learners were excited to picture what a career can look like, both in India and abroad.

  • To cap off a big city day, we watched a Bollywood with a message and enjoyed a nice meal together at a rooftop restaurant.

Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh — Cultural & Community Resilience

  • The first moment the learners laid eyes on the snow-capped mountains in Himachal Pradesh was something to remember! There were many moments of awe as we drove up the winding roads to Dharamshala or went on morning walks.

  • Connecting with our pre-departure assignments, learners engaged with a Tibetan activist and visited the Dalai Lama’s monastery to understand how refugees work to keep their culture in a foreign place.
  • Thanks to a 360Plus member, learners also had a moving interaction with Dharamshala’s mayor. She shared about what she hopes for and works toward for the women of her community. We later spent the afternoon with her team picking up trash in the community.

  • The highlight of every Leadership Collective trip are the homestays. Learners spent two nights at local family homes where they helped cook, farm, and play games.

  • Finally, we climbed up one of those awe-inspiring mountains to challenge ourselves and transition into our unit on Emotional Resilience.

New Delhi & Agra, Uttar Pradesh — Emotional Resilience

  • Closing the trip in the capital, allowed for both reflection and some final sightseeing. In Delhi, we visited Old Delhi and the nearby Jama Masjid. In Agra, we visited the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.

  • We also spent lots of time reflecting on the experience of the trip. While learners posted regular blogs reflecting on the day, this was an opportunity to reflect on the trip as a whole and how they’ve grown to be more resilient themselves.
  • One reflection activity was to spend some individual time with chart paper journaling, drawing, and processing their learnings related to the theme. Learners presented these chart papers to the group, and it was great to hear from each learner about their journey.

  • Many tears were had with goodbyes as students parted ways to return to school, summer jobs, or college.

Takeaways & Next Steps

  • A few takeaways from students:
    • “The experience on the trip showed me an insight into my future. The trip to Agastya opened my eyes to wanting to help children grow and learn. I want to do something with the environment, but want my career or goals to incorporate children involvement.”
    • “My experience with this program made me realize that travel isn’t something impossible for me. I thought my only college options were in the U.S but now I want to explore school’s outside of the U.S. This year for high school I’ve decided to go to the international high school, where there are many cultures and things to learn about others.”
    • “I saw growth towards the end of the trip as I begun to feel more resilience myself. I was no longer afraid of trying new things, new foods, talking to new people. As I had been when I first arrived although I wouldn’t show it.”

  • Next year, we will continue to grow the number of students on the trip. We’d like to split into multiple smaller groups, perhaps in different locations of the country.
  • We also hope to have even more learner countries represented! Not only did our 2018 alumni get to engage with diverse students in India and the US, they got to engage with South Africa and Nepal as well, inspiring “Learning Through Travel.”

Thanks for your support of the 2018 Leadership Collective. We look forward to our fifth year of the program next year!

 

New Orleans City Council Recognizes 360Plus Leadership Collective Student

When school started this month, Selena Lee was recognized by the City Council of New Orleans for her participation in the 2018 Leadership Collective. Selena was nominated by her teacher, Samantha King, at Walter L. Cohen College Prep. The Proclamation, below, concludes: “Ms. Lee, continue to do amazing work around the world. Your accomplishments are an inspiration to people across our great City.” We couldn’t agree more!

Selena (right), along with fellow Leadership Collective alumna, Aya (left), take in the views and history of Agrasen ki Baoli in Delhi during the last days of the program.

Gratitude

Well it’s time for my next blog !!! I just wanna share how much gratitude I have taken from this trip– for the sights that I have seen through perspectives of what individuals see, and being able to form my own world from that,. Without looking at the world through roasted glasses , I have become much more open minded as a individual acting as a leader in my community. There were many times when my emotional resilience was tested through physical literacy like going for extreme hikes on the Himalayas despite the pain it took to walk each step higher and steeper, and despite the fear of falling of the cliff, the beauty is what really motivated me. I don’t think there has been a time were my motivation has been fractured. I have enjoyed every last moment staying in Dharmasala, the home of the mountains. And staying with people that stayed in the village living and adapting to their daily lives was a intriguing experience. I’ll never forget the way the families were families when they at dinner and the way the made there house a home for people like me. I learnt about their religion, their culture, their attire. I learnt to appreciate animals more. Some people see beyond an animal then just meat or food try see it as there sacred deity which was entrancing for me to hear about. I will definitely go back to South Africa with the same amount of new respect that I have learnt to taking my shoes off to giving some hard namastes!!! I will encourage ways to mitigate the use of resources and to implement innovative ideas in my community to contribute towards climate change. I am grateful, I am thankful, I am blessed. Namaste and thank you for reading and following my journey on this tremendous grateful experience as I token of gratitude, I would love to thank my leaders sincerely for this network that will not leave my side and for the knowledge and skills I have obtained. Namaste.

Morning Walks in Janpath

For the morning walk we visited government buildings and they were amazing. I learned that each Indian state is allowed to have different governing styles, for instance, one state can have communist ruling and another right by it can have Democratic ruling. That made me think about how different that system is compared to the U.S and it was very interesting.

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Reflections on Chart Paper

We were assigned to give our reflection on a chart paper through drawings, poem, essay and any creative ideas that relates to climate resilience, community resilience and emotional resilience. I was very much curious and excited to reflect myself throughout the journey to India with my 360Plus family.
So, I made a drawing look like a large greeting card in which I have reflected how I have learned though travel from then to now . Here is a couple of photographs of my chart paper.
-Thank You🙏

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Presenting on Resilience

Today we were presenting how we saw and felt climate, emotional, and community/cultural resilience. We had all made a 1-3 minute presentation on a piece of poster board and explained the experiences we encountered along our 23 day journey together. There was so many experiences we shared, but then again we had other thoughts on some of the events we saw. I feel that overall we felt that even though our situations weren’t as hard as back at home, we could all relate to the things others from India had shared and the way the felt about life. Also I feel that Indians have a much deeper understanding for gratefulness, and seeing that within them has gave me essentially a better understanding for it. And even though they had a rough life that they were the most positive people I have ever met in my life and just that understanding of being that happy has made me more happy. Therefore giving my life more meaning, perseverance, and overall a successful feeling.

This trip has made me think a lot about how I act at home and what I could do to better that in a great way. In the end I feel that my life is complete even though I am a young age I feel that this experience has made all of life a blessing. I wish I could come back to this place just one more time in my life to experience it’s beauty within cultural, emotional, and climate resilience.

Climate Change Learnings

Throughout the trip I have learned many things whether it was just being mindful of my water intake or getting used to all the crazy traffic India has, but through it all it has been so much fun. I have not only learned how to be more resilient but to also be more aware of my effect on this planet which is why as a person who isn’t ignorant to climate change I need to continue the change. I hope that with this newfound knowledge about pollution and about how many different things affect the planet I will be able to positively affect both my community and the world.

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The Taj Mahal

I enjoyed my visit in India!!!! What an awesome experience …we went to one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world it was so nice being with people to share that with. I learnt how to be resilient in different circumstances.

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