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DCSD students go global for human rights

Written by DCSD student Maddie Crea

As the new school year begins, we are given the chance to look back on the summer and remember all of the personal growth made in terms of education in DCSD. Just one these great feats was the Global Leaders and Learners (GLL) 11 day trip to Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam and the Hague. 

This summer, approximately 60 Douglas County students and chaperones were given the opportunity to attend this trip hosted by EF (Education First), an international company that provides educational tours for students all around the world. In attendance, there were 18 students from Highlands Ranch High School (HRHS), 11 students from Castle View High School (CVHS), 20 students from Mountain Vista High school (MVHS) and 9 students from Rock Canyon High School (RCHS). 

The overall theme of this trip was exploring human rights and how they affect the world we live in today.

Students were given the chance to see many important historical landmarks, such as the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie and The Anne Frank House. They also attended a free radio conference, hearing the stories of people living in oppression during the separation of East and West Berlin. Students also had the opportunity to hear a first-hand account of what it's like to flee your country from a Syrian Refugee. Each new activity or sight enlightened students on what human rights are and how they have affected us both in the past and today. 

Following eight days in Europe exploring new places and gaining new perspectives on worldly issues, students attended a Global Student Leadership Summit, where they listened to famous leaders and keynote speakers Arun Gandhi, Ndaba Mandela, Nicholas Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn and speakers from the African Leaders Association (ALA). Students also attended leadership workshops and teamed up with others from around the world to come together and use the design thinking process to solve a problem. 

When students returned from the trip, EF gave them the opportunity to create WeShare projects, or two short video clips about human rights. In our district alone, out of the 1098 overall projects submitted and 84 winning projects, five of them came from students in Douglas County. MVHS student Samantha Legg won the best intro prize, gaining the opportunity to eat lunch with some of the keynote speakers at the summit. HRHS student Delaney Knoebel also won this opportunity, as her video was one of the 18 selected for the best intro category. HRHS student Maddie Crea was also selected as a winner for the best intro, as well as one of the top five best submissions for the Next Step video, which used the design thinking process to create change in our own community. CVHS student Julie Winn was chosen as the top prize winner for the Next Step video, earning a spot on the next trip to Italy and Greece.

To see these videos, click here.

A few other achievements of the students in the GLL group include HRHS student Emily Conway and MVHS student Keyhan Golgoon. Both were Change for Change ambassadors for the DCSD GLL group, collecting spare change to donate to Unicef at the summit. Together they raised over $500 in change. 

As students begin school again, they are using what they learned this summer to make real change in our community. They're in their own GLL clubs or classes, doing projects using what they learned at the Summit to lead our community to a bigger and better place, free from oppression and educated about the world we live in today. 

For more information about the next Leadership Summit and GLL trip in Italy and Greece, visit, or talk to administrators at your building about the GLL program in your school. 

August 31, 2016 | By CSilberman | Category: High School Education, Schools

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