I have roots in USA, Taiwan, and China. The recent tension in the Pacific made me recommit my beliefs that violence and provocations are never the answer to winning people's hearts, no matter the intention. I am so glad that our current forum's topic is Creating a Kinder World. This weekend's session will be about conflict management, followed by a Destination Workshop focusing on changing the world through service.
For opportunities to turn ideas into actions, we organize year-long programs including BWB Clubs (by partnering with schools in 18 countries and counting), online internships (by partnering with Leadership Initiatives sponsored by Starbucks and Microsoft), and now a fellowship with an in-person service experience in Tanzania (by partnering with A Tree That Grows).
This weekend's Destination Workshop will feature Lauren Schmidt, the founder of A Tree That Grows, and one of our forum alumni who participated in the fellowship pilot, Alessandra Corine Torregoza Silapan.
Lauren helps build the next generation of teen social entrepreneurs. She is a graduate of Columbia University, a member of the Association of International Educators and a learning partner with the Association of International Schools in Africa. She has over a decade of experience working with international students and has lived in Tanzania for 10 years as a Dean of Students on international development projects funded by Oxfam and HIVOS. Lauren currently helps students share their unique impact in essays as an App Mentor at Crimson Education, resulting in acceptance at Havard, Yale, MIT, Columbia, Stanford, Duke, Brown, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins and more.
Alessandra is a Filipino student who lives in Indonesia. She was accepted into the Wellness for Teens Online Forum and did a fantastic job. Her performance earned her a nomination as a BWB Pioneer by her team coach and will be launching a BWB Club in her school: "the forum was an incredible experience for me, for I was able to meet new people, brainstorm on multiple topics, and do a lot of research with my teammates.... Thanks to A Tree That Grows, I'll be able to help even more people around the world, by integrating my own interests and experiences into my project!"
Destination Workshops are open to Buddies Without Borders club members, alumni, teachers and parents. Here is how you can sign up.