Prep – Year 2 Awards Evening

On Monday 18 November we acknowledged the youngest members of our College and celebrated their fine achievements at The P-2 Awards Night. Below is a transcript of my speech to our young achievers.

‘These young people are our leaders of the future. They amaze me every single day with their curiosity, their questions and how they are realising that their teachers, their parents and the other adults in their lives don’t always the answers to their questions. And do you know what? That’s ok.

They are thirsty for knowledge, they have grand ideas and plans and they are passionate about learning and about how they can solve big problems.  They care! They will be world changers…..no, they are world changers!

Too young you say? I don’t agree. I truly believe that age simply doesn’t matter if you want to create a huge impact on the environment or on other people’s lives. And to prove this point, I want to share and inspire you all some examples of young children who have successfully made a huge difference through their remarkable actions.

Kelvin Doe

One of Sierra Leone’s most famous inventors got started when he began looking for ways to fix local problems with technology as an 11-year-old, just five years after the country’s volatile civil war ended. By 13, he was powering neighbourhood houses with batteries made out of acid, soda and metal in a tin cup. He went on to build a community radio station out of recycled parts that he powered with a generator also made out of reused material.

 

Melati and Isabel Wijsen

Melati and Isabel were only 10 and 12, when they started on a course of activism that has drastically decreased the global usage of single-use plastic. These young women were inspired by the country of Rwanda’s ban of plastic bags in 2008, and decided to try to get their native Bali to do the same. Their homegrown initiative of beach cleanups and government petitions graduated to an organizations advocating for reduced plastic use in 15 different countries. Bali is officially plastic bag free, and Indonesia will be by 2021.

 

Jahkil Jackson

After 9-year-old Jahkil helped his aunt distribute food at a local homeless shelter in his native Chicago, Jahkil decided he wanted to do more to help his community. This is how Project Am I was founded. Here, Jakhil distributes “Blessing Bags” full of snacks, toiletries, a towel, and socks to people experiencing homelessness. Over 3,000 Blessing Bags have been given out in Chicago communities

 

Ryan Hickman

When Ryan Hickman was 3 years old, he took a visit to the rePlanet recycling centre in California. Here, he found his calling. At 7, Ryan started Ryan’s Recycling. What started out as collecting cans and bottles from his neighbours as recycling has risen to over 50 customers and over 200,000 bottles and cans.

Sound Familiar?

Preeya Sundar

One 7 year old girl….Preeya Sundar. Had an idea. Saw an opportunity to support our own P&C and help save the planet, she got a group of friends together, she spoke to her teachers and this small group of students are now taking action by talking to their peers each and every day advocating for how they can not only reduce waste, but also help air condition classrooms across the school by just recycling their poppers and water bottles –making a difference- 10 cents at a time. The 10cent crew was formed and has quickly become part of the fabric of our school. Who knows what they will do next and where this small act will take them in the future. They care and they are principled and they are making a difference to our College community and we thank them.

I hope you are inspired and moved by these innocent and hopeful young people who have made an impressive and exceptional mark in their community. They come from different backgrounds and they all are good role models to humanity. They have brave hearts, they speak their minds, they fight for what they think is right. Their simple acts only reminds us that no one is ever too young or old to make a difference. Their stories and accomplishments will surely change your outlook in life.

To all of our young students tonight, I want to thank you for the enthusiasm you have shown towards your learning this year.

Don’t ever lose your thirst for knowledge, continue to question and ponder big thoughts and ideas. You are citizens who inquire, who reflect and who care about each other, the environment and the world you live in.

You have big hearts, and you too can make a difference, and you can make a difference now, all it just takes one small action. Pick a dream, strive for something and then ….just go for it!’