Century Teen Attends Global Youth Forum
December 4, 2009
A Century teen recently attended the Global Youth Forum in Washington, D.C.
Charles Houston, a resident of Century and a student at West Florida High School, attended People to People International’s eighth annual Global Youth Forum. Houston was one of more than 200 students ages 13-18 who took part in the forum, which was devoted to the theme “Global Sustainability: It’s All Connected”.
GYF delegates are committed to PTPI’s mission of promoting international understanding and friendship among the world’s people, and arrived prepared to learn how they can work together with peers from around the world to create a better, brighter and greener future. During the course of five days, delegates worked through a curriculum that broadened their understanding of sustainability, learning how our choices as consumers have a global impact.
A variety of speakers joined the delegates to share their expertise. Andrew Revkin, an environmental journalist for The New York Times, discussed what he has learned from his years traveling the globe to research how the way we live affects our climate. Simran Sethi, named “one of the top ten eco-heroes of the planet” by the UK’s Independent, asked the students to think about ways in which they can reduce.
Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, executive director of the Global Footprint Network, stressed the need to remember that there is only one planet earth. He explained the depletion of natural resources and went on to introduce the “Ecological Footprint”, a balance sheet that compares how much nature we have to how much nature we use. Each speaker reminded the students that no matter their career paths, they can contribute to a sustainable future.
“The guest speakers were amazing, each of them presented different ways we are affecting the globe and how we can work together effectively make sure the Earth will be sustainable for generations to come.” Houston said.
Additional conference activities included a presentation by the Anacostia Watershed Society, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring the Anacostia River, a scavenger hunt through the National Mall and several Smithsonian museums, lunch with “George Washington” at the Hard Rock Café and a trip to the recently opened Newseum.
Seven students contributed additional worldviews to the forum during the International Student Panel session. Panel members hailed from Peru, Macedonia, Jordan, Israel, Bulgaria, Colombia and South Africa. They spoke about their lives and the culture and customs of their countries before participating in a question and answer session with GYF delegates.
“GYF was an amazing experience that I am never going to forget, I never thought that I would have a roommate from Bulgaria or even enjoy breakfast with Mary Jean Eisenhower. The lessons that I learned from GYF are lessons I will keep for a lifetime. I am hoping that I will be able to raise enough money to go to Peru this summer with PTPI to attend what was known as the Global Humanitarian Youth Forum, now called Experience: PERU! In July.”
If you are interested in helping Charles Houston of Century attend the forum in Peru this summer, email us here at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with him.
Pictured top: Charles Houston of Century (third from left) with Mary Jean Eisenhower (second from left), President & CEO of People to People International and granddaughter of PTPI founder and former U.S. President, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.