Bitney College Prep students discuss global issues at GIN conference | TheUnion.com

Bitney College Prep students discuss global issues at GIN conference

Emily Lavin
Staff Writer
Bitney College Preparatory High School students Annekin Ove, Areltty Wara, and Kelsey Barajas present at the Bay Area Global Issues Network conference on Dec. 6 in San Francisco.
Submitted Photo |

Three students from Bitney College Preparatory High School recently spent a day in San Francisco discussing global issues, from human trafficking to the Syrian refugee crisis to urban greening, with 200 of their fellow high school students from around the country.

Bitney students Annekin Ove, Areltty Wara and Kelsey Barajas participated in the Bay Area Global Issues Network conference, held at International High School in San Francisco on Nov. 6.

Global Issues Network, or GIN, is a nonprofit founded in 2003 by a group of teachers and administrators at the International School of Luxembourg, who were interested in encouraging their students to become global citizens and develop solutions to some of the world’s problems.

They were inspired by the book “High Noon: Twenty Global Problems, Twenty Years to Solve Them,” written by Jean-Francois Rischard, a Luxembourg economist who also served as the World Bank’s vice president for Europe for several years.

GIN hosted its first conference in 2006, when 300 students from 28 schools convened in Luxembourg to learn about different projects their peers had been leading around the world. Today, GIN hosts both regional and international conferences aimed at empowering youth to collaborate and create sustainable solutions to global issues.

Bitney was invited to participate in the Bay Area conference by the International School. Bitney Principal Russ Jones said the students selected to attend the conference are all students in the school’s sustainable design class.

The conference featured student-led workshops on a variety of topics, as well as breakout discussion sessions. The group from Bitney delivered a presentation on permaculture design, walking their peers through some of the projects they’re working on at Bitney.

Jones said the opportunity to connect with their peers and think critically through global challenges was an invaluable experience for the students.

“Building awareness in students at the tender age of high school really positions them, as they advance in their studies and in their careers, with a mind set that is focused on the urgency of these problems,” Jones said.

To contact Staff Writer Emily Lavin, email elavin@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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