- To get a perfect core in SAT Subject Test for Math II and Chemistry.
- To remain in the finals for Eastern Scholastic Championships for swimming
- Be an official licenced guide and make a company, with an aim to guide and introduce young foreign students to Japanese culture.
- Organizer: Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University
- Program Name: Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Civic Leadership Institute
- Date: 16 July – 4 August, 2017
- Participants: Grades 9 – 12
- Place: University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, California)
Programs for Learning About Social Contribution
It has been a pleasure for me to attend a three-week summer program hosted by a prestigious university in the United States. The “Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Civic Leadership Institute” is a program hosted by two well-known universities; Johns Hopkins University and Northwestern University. The camp serves its purpose of educating social issues through desk work and hands-on learning.
This camp was a summer program held in University of California, Berkeley. The program hosts two sessions, three weeks each. I had attended the second session, which lasted from 7/16 until 8/4.
I currently study abroad in a private boarding high school in Massachusetts. However, when I went to a Japanese international school during junior high, I had many opportunities to be involved in community service, ranging from participating in soup kitchens to teaching the elderlies Japanese calligraphy. From these experiences, perhaps, I became more interested in fundamental aspects of community service.
Since I entered high school, I have been volunteering at day care centers with students’ homework, and during the summer, I taught English classes in local elementary schools and participated in soup kitchens.
Through many of these wonderful involvements, I became curious about the purpose and its impact of community service. Then the camp had caught my eye and motivated me to enroll in this program.
Online Application Available Outside the US
This program is intended for high school students who are either in Center for Talented Youth(Johns Hopkins University) or Center for Talented Development(Northwestern University). However, even if one is not a member of either of these institutions, you can participate in the program through sending grades and standardized test scores. The application is completed through online.
When you are accepted to the program, you need to fill out a reflection in which you are asked to answer questions including, “ Why did you want to participate in this camp” or “What do you want to learn from this camp”.
Not only essays, but you are required to send medical forms and contracts; all the forms and essays can be completed online.
My schedule was full from morning till night
On the first day of camp and also the day I had arrived to San Francisco, the staff came to pick up all international students, and we rode on their van to University of California, Berkeley.
After arriving on campus, I was introduced to my dormitory, and I ended up rooming with an eleventh grader from North Carolina.
I arrived at approximately 3P.M The first class started that evening. The speaker, Dr. Lewis from Northwestern University, talked about San Francisco, specifically the Bay Area community. The content was important, in which he had covered many social issues that remain to be prevalent today, but I had a difficult time staying awake because I was heavily jet-lagged.
The next day was full of classes. There was a three-hour class in the morning, a two-hour class, one hour activity, followed by class discussions on the speaker. In addition, there was a daily dorm meeting for thirty minutes; the schedule was packed. I did not have much free time. Classes mostly included discussions on open ended questions including the importance of leadership, and the true definition of poverty, as well as lecture-based classes on the fundamental concepts of many social issues.
One class I found it very thought-proving was how leadership has changed significantly though history, especially due to social changes within society. For example, during the Industrial Revolution, the society puts its goal on how efficient production can undergo; the definition of “leadership” at this period of time meant how effectively one can use the resources to produce higher results.
However, in our current society where innovation is the key to success, today’s definition of “leadership” is how one effectively can pull out ideas from his resources, and making a comfortable environment for people to share ideas between one another.
First Experience of ‘Service Work’
Besides classwork, the camp involved hands-on volunteering, in which we volunteered at local NPO(Non-Profit Organizations) at their soup kitchens, after-school daycare programs, and petitions. Based on what we had learnt, we compared and contrasted the concepts and realities of community service; we also recognized rooms for improvement as we discussed on the activities.
This initiative is called “service learning”, in which we not only show appreciation to the community by volunteering, but also involves learning from your experiences. The volunteering was often as simple as cutting carrots for two hours, but realizing that we had helped six-hundred people from hunger, had a significance in my understanding of “what it means to be a community.”
Great Thanks to My Colleagues Who Worked Together With Me
During the last week of community service, we worked on our projects. In this assignment, I was able to implement what I learned, to come up with one initiative I can do in my community back home. We were required to give a five-minute presentation on the final day. My plan was to promote English education in Okinawa, in order to foster the tourism business, since the number of tourists are increasing annually.
My classmates also worked on controversial topics including initiatives to stop cell-phone addiction, or underage drinking; all the presentations were fantastic and I was very pleased I was able to hear these presentations.
Through this summer program, we learned many different topics on social science and economics and it made me curious about learning more about these topics.
Perhaps the most significant of the camp is how each and every single classmate learned what it requires to be a “leader”, which I greatly appreciate for their intellectual curiosities.
Editorial supervision by Komako Hattori