25 students to attend Nobel laureates event
KINGSTON >> Twenty-five Kingston High School students will travel to Bogota, Columbia, in February 2017 for a gathering of Nobel laureates.
Students who attended the same event last November in Barcelona, Spain, recently told the Board of Education about the trip’s impact on them.
“The most impactful part of the conference was attending the workshop on the United Nations,” said senior Julia Hack. “This workshop was based on the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals. These are goals [designated] by the United Nations that they want to be completed worldwide by 2030, including ending poverty and giving everyone a quality education.”
Hack said students attending the 2015 event were allowed to comment about their hopes for the future.
“During the workshop, they passed around a microphone for the students to share their input on the sustainable development goals, and I got to share my own,” she said.
Regarding the upcoming trip, senior Hunter Reinhardt said: “When we got the list of who’s coming to the conference in Colombia, there were two new names that really stuck out to me. One was former President Jimmy Carter, and the other was former General Secretary of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev. They are two leaders who offered peace their entire lives and reshaped the 20th century.”
Kingston High School teacher Lauren Forstbauer said organizers of the 2017 trip plan to conduct fundraisers to reduce the trip’s estimated cost of $1,500 per student.
Forstbauer said the 25 students who will be making the trip were chosen after a review process.
“They have to do an application, which included two essays, teacher and community recommendations and transcripts,” she said.
Forstbauer told the Board of Education she already has visited Colombia to review the demands that will be put on chaperones.
“I was fortunate to spend three weeks in Colombia this summer,” she said. “I had a fellowship with the State Department ... and one of the things I did is I went through the lens of what it would be like —  teenagers with me in Bogota. I can tell you with confidence, if I didn’t think that the summit was as valuable as it is, if I didn’t think that Bogota was as vibrant of a city as it is, I would not be here before you.”