BHS girl to represent Island in The Hague at the Model United Nations
Global citizen Alicia Kirby has gone around the world through her schools participation in the international service programme Round Square.
Fresh home from the Duke of Edinburghs Award gold expedition, Alicias passion for world affairs will also see her travel to The Hague later this year for the International Model United Nations.
Im very interested in international development and humanities, so I fit right in, the 17-year-old Bermuda High School student said. Im hoping it will let me travel the world, because thats what I really love.
But I hope some aspect of what I learn can come back home with me to bring something to my community as well.
The Southampton resident returned earlier this month from trekking, and sometimes having to swim, around the wilds of the Bahamas, as part of the Duke of Edinburgh youth training programme.
That was challenging. They were hit by a hurricane a couple of years back and there are still a lot of trees down, so sometimes we had to go into the water to get past.
Plus, Alicias close involvement with Round Square — a global association of schools dedicated to community service and student exchange — took her to service projects in Thailand in 2010, and Peru earlier this year.
In Thailand, we helped to build a community centre for victims of the tsunami, Alicia recalled, and in Peru we moved tons of rock and built a classroom and a bakery for an all-girls school.
The reason I like doing these projects is seeing the smiles on childrens faces. I guess I have to say its the philanthropy. I enjoy seeing other peoples reactions when you have the opportunity to give back.
The high point was the service projects. Thats where I had direct contact with children, and took part in building things that will last longer than my lifetime.
Also a volunteer Candy Striper at King Edward VII Memorial, and a former member of the Cadet Corps at the Bermuda Regiment, Alicia describes herself as someone who just likes to keep busy.
The class in school that I enjoy most is called peace and conflict — its about world events, and it helps me get ready for the conference. I keep track of whats happening in the news, topics like the conflict in Syria. Its the best way to prepare for the conference.
A conference of students that simulates the real thing, the Model United Nations centres on international debate: attendees must select a country other than their own, learn its basic policies, and argue its case on a set topic with other delegates.
In Boston this year, Alicia represented Bolivia; for the Atlanta conference, she was assigned Thailand.
I dont know what the topic will be in The Hague, she said. You dont find out before you go. In Atlanta we had to talk about AIDS and global climate.
In Boston, it was foreign investment. You get to go and research your country and how much theyve done fixing problems, any solutions they have for it, and you come up with your own response paper to the topic.
Her keen interest in international affairs got Alicia promoted to student leader for internationalism at BHS last year.
Events such as International Day at the school reflect its close involvement with Round Square, a leadership group founded by the German educator Kurt Hahn.
You get to travel through Round Square once you reach year nine, said Alicia, who next month starts her final year at the school, IB2. BHS has a world of opportunities.
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