by Luke Chinman
This week, we are highlighting the Global Minds Lewisburg chapter for the amazing work they have done this summer. As a part of this week-long highlight, Luke, the Global Minds Communications fellow sat down with the leadership team from Lewisburg to hear their thoughts on the upcoming school year. This is that conversation.
Luke Chinman: How did you initially get involved with Global Minds? Why did you want to hold a leadership position this year?
Suzie Vo, President: Last year, my friend Hanna and I brought Global Minds to our school to create a community that fosters diversity and inclusivity within our small, rural town. Global Minds has introduced me to a world of new perspectives and stories. I joined the leadership team to help ensure that the important and eye-opening discussions that take place within our Global Minds chapter can be brought to our larger community.
Tula Lock, Vice President: I initially got involved with Global Minds during my sophomore year of high school. Our president, Suzie, told me about this organization and its mission so I was very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of it! I want to hold a leadership position this year to continue and make a positive impact on our school and community through Global Minds’ activities and opportunities.
Bridget Kinnaman, Communications Director: I initially got involved with Global Minds halfway through my sophomore year, a little bit after the club got started at my high school. Everything Global Minds stands for is important to me which is why I joined the club—and later—the leadership team.
Paige Kaszuba, ESL Coordinator: I received a seemingly random call from Hanna, last year’s president, who began to describe the project and ideas about this new club. She asked me if I was “in” to which I happily agreed to join. Throughout the past academic year, it has been a joy to watch the nascent club grow into the community of passionate kids it is today. School became online before our ESL program could launch, but I saw its potential and knew I wanted to help it succeed in becoming something that brings even more kids together.
Julia Kaszuba, Recruitment Director: During my sophomore year, Suzie, the vice president, now the president of Global Minds Lewisburg came up to me and asked if I would like to be a part of the club that she was running, Global Minds. When she asked me I was intrigued and decided to join. As I kept on going I learned that Global minds is an organization that was created to fight cultural intolerance and discrimination. I believe that it is something that we as people sometimes make it out to be a taboo topic that is also hard to talk about and can be uncomfortable, but with this knowledge I think it is important to talk, inform, and share with others. I wanted to hold a leadership position because I feel it is important for others to learn these “taboo” topics and hopefully they feel empowered to learn and share.
Andrew Nicholls, Special Projects Coordinator: My brother as well as our current leadership team both invited me, and I thought it sounded interesting. I wanted to hold a leadership team because of how mind-opening and a great experience Global Minds was for me my first year!
Luke: What are you most looking forward to next year in Global Minds?
Suzie: The transition towards virtual learning and communication since the outbreak of COVID-19 has allowed us to rethink the ways in which we educate ourselves and others. I am so excited to see the creativity and innovation that will go into the projects and plans of next year’s Global Minds!
Tula: I enjoyed all of my time in Global Minds during my sophomore and am grateful for the opportunities it gave me as well as the time that we spent learning about important issues, different perspectives, etc. and look forward to continuing with all of these in the upcoming year. I also look forward to continuing our positive outreach in our school and community.
Bridget: I am looking forward to learning more about how to effectively use social media as a platform for learning and teaching.
Paige: I look forward to the creative ways we’ll be able to bring people together in a time when we can’t be with each other physically, at least not to the full extent that we’d like. I already mentioned the importance of community, nevertheless, I am truly confident in the club’s ability to continue to connect people even when they feel that they are isolated.
Julia: I am most looking forward to the opportunities that we will face together and also learning and growing as a team.
Andrew: Definitely I am looking forward to increasing active participation—in contrast to passive participation—which will hopefully help our school to be a more educated and mindful place!
Luke: What positive things do you hope you will get out of being on the leadership team? How do you hope it will improve you as a person?
Suzie: The Lewisburg Global Minds leadership team is an incredible group of dedicated individuals. I look forward to learning from their unique perspectives and working to broaden my worldview. I believe that being a part of this team will allow us to raise awareness about global issues while creating an inclusive and culturally diverse community.
Tula: As a member of the Global Minds leadership team, I look forward to having more opportunities to improve my leadership skills. I also welcome the opportunity to work with the members of the club to focus on learning about and working to help issues specific to our community and important to our members.
Bridget: Being a part of Global Minds, I have already learned so much. But I hope that by being on the board I can learn even more about how to be globally-minded. I am looking forward to improving my leadership skills as well!
Paige: It’s extremely easy to feel uninspired, but I hope that I’ll get to surround myself with people who have similar visions for ways to improve the school as well as themselves. I love a dedicated environment and hope that the qualities of those who I will find myself working with will rub off on me.
Julia: I hope to be able to use all of our ideas to create bigger and better ones. I hope this will help me improve my skills with working with other ideas from other people at the table.
Andrew: I hope to really become more educated while I’m on the board—educated in the choices I can make and changes in my life that will help me to become a better person and help the people and the planet around me.
Luke: What do you hope that Global Minds students will be able to learn in Global Minds next year?
Suzie: I hope that next year’s Global Minds students will be able to learn the importance of staying connected with other cultures and perspectives, especially in a time that feels more distant than ever.
Tula: For the upcoming school year, I hope that our members will be able to learn about issues important to them as well as ways to make a difference in our school, community and world. I believe that organizations like Global Minds are very important for members of our generations because they empower us and give us a voice and a way to work on and learn about issues that are important to us.
Bridget: That we can learn to be more accepting of everyone and to also help others, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.
Paige: Though individual students have differing interests in Global Minds, I hope that they gain or strengthen the ability to view each topic as much bigger than themselves but that they are no less of a part of it. The globe is a massive, ever-changing organism, but that does not mitigate one’s place in it. It’s easy to “learn” or “think” this concept, but it’s difficult to actually “feel” or “believe” it. I look forward to us working to develop that deep understanding of the vastness of the world we make up.
Julia: I hope that Global Minds students will be able to learn more about the backgrounds and different cultural traditions of their peers.
Andrew: How much of a difference anybody can make in the world!