Ambassadors in Sneakers: high school students travel to learn about human rights
(Left) The high schoolers are greeted on their arrival in Germany.
Bhavin Patel was one of ten high school students from across the state of Georgia, plus two from Alabama, who were chosen to attend the 2018 Ambassadors in Sneakers Transatlantic Academy from a worldwide competitive application process.
"Ambassadors in Sneakers - A Young Leaders’ Transatlantic Summer Academy on Human Rights" is a four-week educational program that brings together youth councils from Germany and the USA in the summers of 2017, 2018, and 2019. The central focus is on the topic of human rights. It is against this background that participants learn about both countries’ political structures and international networking. While traveling together in the USA and Germany, the young leaders become familiar with important places and institutions that are significant for developing and defending human rights. At a time when thousands are fleeing their homelands due to political/religious persecution, war, and famine, human rights and human rights violations are topics that young people often question.
During their trips, they meet activists, people affected by recent events, media representatives, speakers, and politicians in Germany and the USA, and have the opportunity to learn from them and with them, thus helping gain a fuller perspective on the issues at hand. The students write papers. They engage in formal research. They even do course work on college campuses.
"Being a part of this program means to be exposed to different cultures and different types of governments," said high school junior Bhavin Patel of Stratford Academy in Macon. This summer, 12 students each from Germany and from the United States spent four exciting weeks together, learning about youth participation, human rights, transatlantic relations, and intercultural communication in both countries.
"I want all the students involved in this to walk away, one, with a strong sense of self in this global society," said their advisor, Charles Coney. "Number two, I'm hopeful that they will not repeat the sins of the past."
Part 1, Germany: Kiel & Berlin (Sat. May 19 - Sat. Jun. 2, 2018)
Part 2, USA: Birmingham & New York City (Sat. Jul. 19 - Sat. Aug. 4, 2018)
[The article above is a Website Bonus Feature, appearing only on the website for September 2018, not in the print/digital issues.]
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