We are delighted to share a blog written by student Cherry Sung from Chadwick International School, who is part of team Greener Is Cleaner, this years GSL Global Goals Competition winner.
The blog focuses on Cherry’s experience of the GSL Festival @Home which took place on the 18th and 19th of June 2020.
The GSL Festival is an annual event held by Global Social Leaders and the Future Foundation to celebrate and support the journey of students around the world who have taken action for the UN Sustainable Development Goals during the GSL Competition. It is an opportunity to inspire, get inspired, and share individual stories.
This year, it was held online using ZOOM (that is why it was called the GSL Festival ‘@ Home.’) due to the coronavirus outbreak. All sessions this year are uploaded on the Future Foundations YouTube channel for everyone to access. This year was the first one in which I have got to know about Global Social Leaders, and it was my first GSL FEST.
I joined the festival as a participant (leader of Greener is Cleaner) in the GSL Competition. During the competition phase, the Global Social Leaders team continuously encouraged me to act through recognitions, ‘Feel Good Fridays’ emails, posts about international days, and the Podcast. Even when I was heavily burdened with school work and my commitment to Greener is Cleaner, the GSL helped me feel better and motivated.
During the festival, powerful leaders inspired and encouraged youth to take action and voice themselves by telling their stories and discussing current issues. Thanks to the outstanding speakers and determined youth, I constantly felt as if I was floating in a wave next to a myriad of amazing individuals.
I found my true, potential self through joining Global Social Leaders.
The speakers were those who are extremely difficult to meet 1:1, and this experience allowed me to meet and learn about numerous leaders around the world! My favorite session out of so many that I loved has to be Global Classroom because I directly communicated with young leaders from various countries.
Although I had no friends joining the festival with me, I felt confident throughout the event because everyone was amicable and open-minded. While leading the session by answering students’ questions, I was amazed by the high quality and thoughtfulness of the questions I received. They were immensely insightful, and they gave me an opportunity to reflect on my journey of taking action for the environment.
The Next Chapter
I learned from this event that there is ever-increased attention for social issues in recent times. Over 600 teams from 105 countries have participated in the 2019-20 GSL Competition. Acknowledging that there is more youth taking action out of GSL, I was extremely glad.
After listening to sessions that discussed current issues, I was inspired to take action with my full potentials to create a change in such an urgent time. I would definitely recommend others to join the GSL movement because it is sustainable, always encouraging, and it allows youth to express their full potentials. I believe that not expressing one’s full potentials is the same as procrastinating because one has everything ready to take action and create a change.
The GSL Festival was a success because it fulfilled its mission to celebrate youth voices and give young people the tools to create transformational social change.