25 stu­dents to at­tend No­bel lau­re­ates event

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

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 — [25] 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.”

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