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18 Under 18 (part 1)

Updated: May 13

It is not a surprise that all Buddies Without Borders students are thoughtful scholars and action-oriented doers. But stepping out of their comfort zone and taking time out of their routine to make an international connection year-round? Gold.

These are the 18 most active students on our global platform. From the weekly online Global Chats to the virtual Discord Server, each of the following teens made a significant contribution to our community based on our common goals - the 17 SDGs.

The recognitions were made with help from one of our generous sponsors, A Tree That Grows. Here is the recording. Thank you!

***** (in alphabetical order)

Alba Martinez - Los Sauces European School, Spain

Alessandra Silapan - Binus School Simprug, Indonesia

Armaan Kapapoor - Strawberry Fields High School, India

Bella Wood - Green Bay High School, New Zealand

Chadwick Hung - Taipei Tsai-Hsing High School, Taiwan

Gordon Chen - Taipei Tsai-Hsing High School, Taiwan

Harry Haghani - Towheed International School, UAE

Iliana Skordi - The Junior & Senior School, Cyprus

Krisha Karippail - Green Bay High School, New Zealand

Laura Romao - Saint Andrew's School, Bolivia

Megumi Nakamura - Shonan Shirayuri. Japan

Mia Ni - Taipei Tsai-Hsing High School, Taiwan

Mobin Jannati - Towheed International School - UAE

Nehir Atasver - VMGSBL, Turkey

Nour Hatimi - George Washington Academy, Morocco

Sofia Rojas - Saint Andrew's School, Bolivia

Yagiz Erginay - VMGSBL, Turkey

Yushan Zhu - The Junior & Senior School, Cyprus

We will feature the students' reflections in the coming days:

"I have learned a lot about the 17 SDGs. Not only do I know those goals and plans more deeply but also absorb various perspectives from other members around the world. It was an interesting experience when back to back communicating and exchanging thoughts. Thank you for this opportunity to let me broaden my horizons and remind me there is a lot to do for the world. I believe every citizen on earth has the responsibility to make the world better." ~ Mia Ni - Taipei Tsai-Hsing High School, Taiwan

"To me, Global Citizenship is when individuals recognize themselves as part of the global community, beyond national and cultural borders, and they feel a sense of responsibility and commitment toward the world.

After working on SDG #12 and SDG #13 for about a year, I have incorporated them into my lifestyle. For SDG #12, I consistently ensure that appliances such as the microwave, electric kettle, and chargers are not left on standby to conserve energy. This practice has significantly reduced my electricity consumption. As for SDG #13, I actively collect and recycle plastic bottles and encourage others to do so.

The most significant aspect of BWB was the invaluable leadership experience I have gained. By serving as the club president for two years, I have acquired valuable insights in effective communication strategies and techniques that have helped boost productivity. Moreover, it has helped me get a deeper understanding of my own capabilities as a leader, and it has enhanced my leadership skills." ~ Harry Haghani - Towheed International School, UAE

"I’m honored to be chosen as 18 under 18. In the BWB club, I learned how I can contribute to the world by having discussions with members all over the world and taking local actions. Discussions always give me a lot of new perspectives and broaden my mind. Also, I was able to make good use of it in our local actions with members of my school. From now on, I want to share and expand our activities to the whole community and contribute to society. Thanks to the BWB club, I had an opportunity to participate in the Public Health Internship, where I found my specific dream as a medical professional. Now I believe in the power of youth and I will continue to take action to make a better world by cooperating with lots of friends who have the same will around the world!!!" ~ Megumi Nakamura - Shonan Shirayuri. Japan

"I’m honored to have been included in the 18 Under 18 List. I have learned a lot from BWB, whether through participating in forums, or leading a club. However, above all the significant lessons I’ve learned, I must say that learning the true essence of the word “effort” was truly the greatest lesson that had engraved itself onto my very purpose. Being so young, I’ve always felt so small standing adjacent to all the huge problems that the world enveloped; it seemed as though I was an ant next to an elephant. Sometimes I would be disappointed in myself for not being able to change the world or to make things a little better. I would feel upset, useless, but most of all, guilty, for not being able to actually do something helpful. But being in the 18 Under 18 list taught me that my efforts did not go to waste. I may not have been able to do anything significant for the world, but I know that I tried, and that’s what matters most." ~ Alessandra Silapan - Binus School Simprug, Indonesia

"Sharing perspectives and information on the SDGs is one of the most meaningful things I have done in the BWB club. I believe that the SDGs play a prominent role in the pursuit of better conditions for all beings on earth. Through the promotion of the SDGs, people are aware of the severe issues that are actually happening between us and are able to take action. In addition, I get a profusion of knowledge while doing research. I remembered when having a conversation on renewable energy, I was introduced to a new kind of method for the storage of energy called BEST, which stands for buoyancy energy storage technology. Sharing information about the SDGs also broadened my horizons. Lastly, in my opinion, what I value the most are the perspectives and stories I heard from foreign club members. People living in the same culture and region usually hold similar opinions. I can barely talk to people under different education systems in my daily life. It was the moment I made friends with them that I realized how massive the world is." ~ Gordon Chen - Taipei Tsai-Hsing High School, Taiwan

Making the world a better place is fun and rewarding. Join us!

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