“If you don’t like the news, go out and make your own!”
By Ingrid ‘13
Ingrid ’13 comes from Croatia and this is her first year at The White Mountain School. She quickly became an active participant both in and outside of the classroom, taking advantage of all of the opportunities she can here at WMS and in the US. Below Ingrid writes about her recent experience at the conference in Massachusetts.
On October 21-23 a group of WMS students was able to attend the fourth Bioneers by the Bay Connecting for Change conference in the historic town of New Bedford, MA. Connecting for Change is an annual three-day gathering that focuses primarily on matters related to environmental sciences and sustainable development. The program offered a number of activities for the audience. WMS students attended workshops, keynote speaker presentations and exhibitions.
I was especially impressed by one of the keynote speakers, famous author and journalist Amy Goodman. As the host of Democracy Now! she raises consciousness about social injustice nationwide through daily broadcasts of her personal experiences and ideas. In her speech Amy talked about the injustices that were brought upon her and her coworkers during their struggle to provide uncensored news to the public, sharing with us the ways she fought against these. The action-based spirit of the gathering was particularly well-reflected in one of her inspirational closing lines: “If you don’t like the news, go out and make your own!”
The mindset illustrated by this quote emphasizes the importance of initiative and involvement in the community. During our stay at the conference, our aim was not only to learn, listen and observe, but also to actively participate. As a group we volunteered during lunch each day, while during the afternoon some of us participated in interactive workshops and discussions with speakers. On Saturday evening an open mic session was organized by the Youth Initiative Committee and two of our students were courageous enough to share their talents with the rest of the youth attending the conference.
From both personal experience and the impressions of other WMS students, attending this conference has been a rewarding experience. The broad range of activities and speeches that took place shaped the experience to fit our individual areas of interest. It was personal, thereby strengthening its impact on our ideas and beliefs. Our new discoveries from Bioneers will spark new initiatives here at WMS and beyond. These discoveries will allow us, as students, to make our contribution to communities in need of it.