March 22, 2017
Student Snapshot: How Summer@Brown inspired 3 students to start a political blog
For many students, the impact of Summer@Brown lasts long after their session has ended and they’ve returned home. For some, the program helps them discover an interest in a new subject that they’d like to pursue further, or dive deeper into one they’ve always enjoyed. For others, Summer@Brown reaffirms a college major or career path or illuminates a completely unrealized direction. No matter what Summer@Brown course they choose, students are encouraged to explore and be open to inspiration and, ideally, take what they learn in and out of the classroom with them to college and beyond.
Here, former Summer@Brown student Jessie Gerdis writes about the blog, Yung Politics she and two other classmates, Emma Cerda and Ravin Nanda, created to educate young people on current affairs and today’s political issues. It began as a final project for their Summer@Brown course, but several months later, they continue to post to a growing and engaged audience.
The course that I took last summer was called “Money vs. People” and was taught by Meghan Wilson. The class was full of high school students from incredibly diverse places including Peru, Mexico, China and Italy. Being from New York, I was initially overwhelmed by the different backgrounds and cultures of the other high school students that sat around me. The exposure to so many intelligent people with vastly different experiences from me pushed me to broaden my perspective on the realities and lifestyles in other parts of the world. Throughout the two weeks, Ms. Wilson not only taught us about government systems and the fundamentals of the economy and society as we had expected, but gave us the invaluable experience of learning from one another. Everybody was able to offer different perspectives on current events, social issues, and the functions of government, which made for continuously lively and thought-provoking discussions.
"The amazing bonds that formed between every member of the course were not ones that we were willing to abandon just because our time at Brown was ending."
As a final project for the course, every member of the class wrote about government systems and an issue or topic important to them. We posted our articles to a blog site we created called Yung Politics to ensure that our thoughts and ideas could be shared beyond the walls of the classroom. Yung Politics has become an online blogspot where members of our class continue to share articles regarding issues in their countries, along with additional articles submitted by high school students who did not have the opportunity to take our class. The interest that we see amongst high school students on an international level regarding political and social issues proves the point that Ms. Wilson continuously expressed. She instilled in us that although we may only be in high school, we have the ability to make an impact.