Greetings! My name is Peyton Klein and I am 15 years old. I am a highschool student at Taylor Allderdice and the founder of Global Minds.
From a young age I have been fascinated with social justice issues and the idea that cultural understanding all starts with youth. When I was 11 years old I became involved with an organization called CISV (Children’s International Summer Village). CISV’s mission is to inspire action for a more just and peaceful world, through summer programs where children from around the world come together to explore sustainable development, equality, conflict resolution, human rights, and develop cultural understanding. I had the opportunity to attend several of these programs and met children from over 15 different countries. This experience gave me a new outlook on life and truly ignited my passion for peace education. After returning from these programs each summer, I was always in search of a more international and globally minded community. Since attending Allderdice I was aware of our many international students, but I didn’t know much about the ESL program.
One day I was sitting in homeroom and my teacher was trying to communicate with one of the students. The student had no idea what she was saying and the frustration was obvious, eventually she gave up. It turns out that student was a Syrian Refugee, new to the Pittsburgh area. Since that moment, I have been working to establish an afterschool program to bridge ESL and native English speaking students. The idea is to assist ESL students with their schoolwork, expose high school students to other cultures and create a more globally minded student body. This engages local students in meaningful community service, generates intercultural friendships and creates more globally minded leaders and students.
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Cheers to changing the world.