Janki Shah, Banneker High School, USA
iEARN Summer Experience
During my junior year at Banneker High School, I experienced a life changing opportunity in my International Affairs class with Ms. Goodman. With the help of my teacher and iEARN I started interacting with people across the country and the world. Through this class and iEARN, I learned with the world not just about it. We used 2.0 tools to collaborate globally. I became immersed in domestic, personal and international issues such as hunger in our community and around the world, and women's rights.
One day my teacher announced an iEARN international conference and youth summit for students and teachers would be held in Barrie, Canada. When I heard about this international conference, I envisioned a great opportunity to meet people like me who want to make change in the world and our community, who want to help others just because they know the meaning of “We all are one family.” I was really excited about this conference, but I didn’t have the money to go. My teacher told me about the Kurshan Scholarship which was given to one iEARN-USA student who wants to attend the conference. I applied, wrote an essay, and won the scholarship. It opened an amazing door for me.
After journeying alone to Barrie, Canada, I was apprehensive as I didn’t know even one person there. Everybody was talking with everyone and I was standing there alone. Within a minute a girl from Spain came down to me and started talking with me like we were lifelong friends. After that I started meeting people from all around the world. Today I can proudly say that I have friends from Spain, Azerbaijan, Netherlands, Canada, Russia, Taiwan, Japan, China and many other countries.
I was thrilled to see that there was no prejudice and no racism among those young people. I wondered what if the world started thinking like those students. If a 14 year old adolescent can understand what unity means and what we can do to help each other, than why don’t older people understand? Why we are fighting over boundaries, power and prejudice? I encourage each and everyone from all over the world to come to iEARN’s next international conference and try to change their point of view.
By attending this international conference I can say that it changed my life perspective. I realize that it’s not enough to be a US citizen. If I want to be powerful and strong I need to be a citizen of the WORLD; a “GLOBAL CITIZEN.” This whole planet is my home, my own country, and my own little town. Everyone around me is my brother and sister and I have to think before taking any actions. I always have to think about my brothers and sisters, my family members around the world before doing any harm to this earth. I plan to get more students involved in iEARN by establishing an iEARN club at school and helping them to see a big picture of the world. I urge each one of you to make this earth a better place for tomorrow. We need everyone’s help.
“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.” (Baha’u’llah)
Janki Shah, Banneker High School