"My peers allowed me to see the importance of diversity in opinions by bringing up new ideas and arguments."

2018 IAS
Kelly from California, USA

Attending YYGS was by far, one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life. The people I met, the seminars I took, and the capstone project my group and I completed all represent my favorite moments at YYGS. The memories that I have made are remarkable, and I do not think I could forget them even if I tried.

My name is Kelly, and I am from Los Angeles, California, USA. Although LA is an extremely diverse and complex city, I have never really been in an environment filled with people from all over the world. In fact, now that I think about it, until I attended YYGS, I never had a close friend or mentor that was not from the US.

Once I arrived on campus, I immediately connected with the people that I am closest with today. My best friends I made at YYGS are from 10 different countries, ranging from Dubai and South Korea, to Hong Kong and Chile. Before YYGS, I would have never imagined that I could find such a diverse and unique group of friends.

My two favorite aspects of the program were the seminars and the capstone project. The seminars were amazing because I was able to learn about topics I was genuinely interested in from instructors who were extremely skilled and knowledgeable in those fields. I really enjoyed the espionage seminar taught by Asaf and the Central Asia seminar taught by George. Both were brilliant instructors and inspired me to pursue further research in the topics that they taught. For my capstone project on human rights, my group members and I created a presentation on Majority versus Minority human rights: in particular, we focused on racial discrimination in the US, favelas in Brazil, and the rights of political dissidents in Iraq. Through researching these human rights violations occurring throughout the world, Matthew, Thais, Tom, and I were able to comprehend Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in detail.

Throughout the two weeks of YYGS, each and every one of my peers taught me the value of diversity. Diversity has the potential to foster appreciation for the perspectives of others because it allows people to share their opinions and build upon their values. My peers allowed me to see the importance of diversity in opinions by bringing up new ideas and arguments during our break out sessions. Especially when we were discussing issues of humanitarian intervention or United Nations peacekeeping policies, my peers did an exceptional job of representing multiple facets of the issue, rather than simply focusing on one particular aspect. In every break out session, seminar discussion, or simulation debate, my peers would present a multitude of perspectives, taking into consideration the different cultural and religious backgrounds the people present in the room had. Ultimately, YYGS provided me with such an amazing opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of ideas and opinions, and for that reason, I value every single one of my experiences at YYGS.

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