As a founding member of the Students Shoulder to Shoulder Global Schools Coalition, ESD is working to make ethics "not just a classroom matter" but something that its students live out in their every day lives. Earlier this month, ESD was visited by Sonam Sherpa, one of the leaders of The Small World, a project designed to empower and educate orphaned girls in Nepal, and liaison for the Shoulder to Shoulder program in Nepal. Her visit is one of many to ESD as a result of our partnership with Shoulder to Shoulder, providing updates and testimonial on her work through this global partnership.
Students Shoulder to Shoulder was founded to create "effective global citizens," providing students "direct experience engaging their intellects, curiosity, and senses of obligation by working with organizations [to address] fundamental issues related to endemic poverty." Through the program, high school students learn first-hand about different cultures and communities while partnering with local organizations to make an impact on the community they are serving. These trips are community originated programs that students are supporting, or ideas derived from the community itself that our students participate in, which creates a more sustainable impact than outsider derived service programs. Students who return from courses then have opportunities to teach our ESD community about the global problems and solutions they experienced in their specific course.
Since creating the partnership in 2011, ESD has sent approximately 50 students and five teachers to communities both domestic and abroad. Former student Lauren Griffin '13 also serves on the Shoulder to Shoulder Board of Directors. Upon her reflection of her experience through the program, SStS course instructor and Assistant Head of Middle School Meg Fahrenbrook '01 said, "Three of ESD's Founding Tenets are community, ethical decision making, and service. After having experienced the Nepal course, I am in awe of how Shoulder to Shoulder blends those three tenets into every facet of the course. Shoulder to Shoulder has the potential to be an extension of our core values and a way for our students to put those core values into action."
Sonam's talk with students last month gave insight on her course in Nepal, how they are partnering with the program to make a sustainable impact on their community, and how students can become involved in this course and others through Students Shoulder to Shoulder. ESD students are encouraged to become involved in this global service program and act out our core values.
It is always encouraging to see students representing our Founding Tenet of Service to Others, both at home and away. Well done, Eagles!