Friday, June 5, 2015

Congratulations to Ian Peterson

In March Ian Peterson traveled to Costa Rica with 10 of his peers as part of our Global Scholars Program.  The Leadership Summit, sponsored by Education First Tours, aimed to address environmental sustainability.  The summit featured expert-led workshops and world-renowned conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall as the guest speaker.   

More than 500 students from across the globe convene at the Leadership summit and work together in small international teams to solve environmental problems that are plaguing the planet.  As part of the summit students are required to complete a project.  Ian’s project titled: Global Warming and Winter (Reducing Your Carbon Footprint) was named best solution.  As a result, EF will send Ian to the leadership summit next year with all expenses paid.  Below you will find a biography of Ian and a link to both his project and information on the leadership summit he will attend next year

Leadership Summit (Leveraging Stem to Protect Human Rights

Ian's Project

Ian's Biography

My name is Ian Peterson, and this is me in a nutshell: I am a sophomore at GDRHS. I live in Groton with my parents, my younger brother, and my dog. In school, my favorite subjects are probably math and English. I love the problem solving involved in math, and the creativity involved in English. I play starting center bench on the varsity soccer team, and if you ask anyone, they would say that I excel at it. 

I am proud to be a student at GDRHS. It is a very positive learning environment, with amazing teachers, and challenging curriculum. My only suggestion to the administration would be to add a mandatory one hour siesta block after lunch. After high school, I plan to attend college at a small school in northern New England and major in environmental engineering. Outside of school I participate in many different activities, most of them involving the outdoors. I am an avid snowboarder, and throughout the past two years, I have gotten into back-country snowboarding, which is basically climbing up a mountain and snowboarding down, without a chairlift. Don’t tell my parents, but my dream is to take a gap year before college and move out west to ski bum. I enjoy photography and general adventuring. I spent a lot of time outside when I was growing up and I still do today. The outdoors have shaped me as a person, and I believe that it is crucial to preserve all of the beautiful outdoor spaces in the world for future generations. This is why I signed up to go on the EF Educational Tours Global Student Leaders Summit on environmental sustainability in Costa Rica this past March.

The Summit was composed of two parts: A weeklong tour of Costa Rica, and the Summit Conference itself. We started off by flying into San José, the capital of Costa Rica. We met out guide, and joined with two other small tour groups from Andover and Ipswich Massachusetts. We spent the next seven days touring the country and seeing what they have done to become a more environmentally sustainable nation. We visited farms, went zip lining and white water rafting, and relaxed in the Baldi hot springs under the shadow of Arenal, an active volcano. A highlight of the tour was when we got to observe a leatherback sea turtle laying her eggs on a beach in Tortuguero. Ms. Brisson was convinced that it was fake and tried to ruin the experience for all of us, but she failed. After the week of touring, we headed back to San José for the main event, the Summit Conference. 

At the Conference, our group, along with around 500 other students from around the world came together to solve local and global issues concerning the environment. We heard world renowned activists, such as Dr. Jane Goodall, and Severn Cullis-Suzuki speak about sustainability, and what we as youth can do to change the world. After hearing these inspirational speakers. I went to my table where I met the group of nine other students who were complete strangers that I would be working with to solve an environmental issue. Our Issue was figuring out a way how to mitigate the runoff of fecal matter from pigs into a brackish river in North Carolina. We used the Design Thinking Process to help us develop a solution, and after pitching our solution, it was chosen as one of the top ten solutions by a panel of judges. 

This trip to Costa Rica changed me as a person. Not only did I make countless new friends, and have a great time, but I was inspired. Hearing Dr. Jane Goodall and Severn Cullis-Suzuki speak really empowered me and made me realize that even as a young person, I have the power to make a huge difference. We all have the power to make a difference. That thought has lingered with me even since the Summit, and will hopefully stay with me for the rest of my life. I came home ready to become more involved in my community and to be a better world citizen. I am very excited to be able to attend another Summit next year and continue to develop as a leader.