THREE Morpeth teenagers will rub shoulders with other politically-active young people from across the world during a special trip to the USA.
For the third consecutive year, King Edward VI School students will be attending the Global Young Leaders Conference in New York and Washington DC this summer.
Year 11s Alexandra Browell, Holly McDonald and Jonathan Tetley will follow in the footsteps of 2013 attendee Freddie Bowles, now a Year 13 student, and Calum Thomson, who attended in 2012 (he is now studying at The University of Maastricht in the Netherlands).
The 10-day initiative provides an out-of-classroom learning experience and rigorous curriculum that helps to equip students with the confidence, independence, skills and competitiveness required of the next generation of future leaders.
Jonathan said: “I wanted to go on the conference as I have never gone outside of Europe and I would like to further my skills as a leader, mainly writing speeches and making a point in a precise manner.
“I hope to make lots of friends to start a large spread network that reaches all over the world.”
The students taking part will interact with personnel who influence global politics, finance, culture and diplomacy. They will visit the headquarters of international organisations and a range of embassies and participate in global issues workshops.
Holly said: “This experience will be very beneficial to me, as it will allow me to develop my leadership skills and give me the confidence I need to become successful in the future.”
Alexandra added: “I will gain and build on valuable life skills throughout the conference, such as leadership, teamwork and my confidence, which will definitely be needed later on in life.
“Also, it will be a great opportunity to become more independent and meet new people from across the globe, so I’m honoured to be taking part.”
Founded in 1985, the Global Young Leaders Conference was established to challenge and broaden the world view of a group of young people, who could then discuss what they had learned with their peers when they returned home.
The activities culminate in the Global Summit Simulation. Students are challenged to debate, negotiate and build coalitions to resolve emerging global challenges.
Nominator Victoria Najafi, Student Voice, leadership and enrichment co-ordinator at King Edward VI School, said: “I am delighted that for the third consecutive year, we will have young people attending the Global Young Leaders Conference and for the first year ever, year 11 students rather than Sixth Formers will be attending.
“When the young people return after their experience, the changes to them as young people are clear to see.
“They return full of confidence, with an increased knowledge of world affairs, their public speaking skills are excellent, they deliver assemblies to hundreds of students about their experiences, as well as talks in the community, and they take on more responsibility and develop a leadership role in school.”