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How will you change the world? – East Greenwich News

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This was the question posed to students across the country, including those in East Greenwich. A broad and troubling question, these students were raised to the challenge, facing it by participating in the Global Economic Symposium.

The Global Economic Symposium (GES) started seven years ago as a way to encourage students to recognize global economic issues and fight them with financially sustainable solutions. Consisting of a presentation and a question-and-answer component, the symposium challenges students to think outside the box and explain the approach of their chosen issue and the proposed solution in an efficient manner. It exposes students to multiple areas of need, giving the next generation of business leaders, entrepreneurs and global influencers a chance to discover how they plan to change the world for the better.

Having participated in the Global Economic Symposium for the last six years myself, I can truly say that the experience broadened my horizons like nothing else. Not only did the competition strengthen my research and presentation skills, but it also made me reevaluate my view of the world. In no other space have I ever been challenged to assess global issues and find real, possible solutions to these problems. Being in an environment that encourages applied revolutionary thinking is extremely empowering and I am extremely grateful that I was exposed to this opportunity at such a young age. A big thank you to Ms. Phyllis Humphrey and Mrs. Kathleen Hook at Cole High School for the first acquaintance with me in the competition and with EGHS Dr. Patricia Page and everyone on Rhode Island Go $ sharp for all their work to make GES happen!

This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the competition ran exclusively on Zoom. Contestants submitted a pre-recorded presentation of their topic and answered questions through a live question and answer session before a panel of judges. By participating in both high school and high school levels, East Greenwich students represented their respective schools in the competition and positioned themselves extremely well.

In the high school division, the EGHS cyber security team, consisting of Sara Gomez, Cayetano Sanchez IV, Griffin Gee, Clyde Kelly and Kian Bijari, finished second overall. According to Bijar, his team took the race seriously. “It was normalcy nights separated from research and meetings,” he said. “Compared to the research projects I have done before, this one had a much more serious air in our conversations. From the beginning we were in the race to win and we would not lose due to poor preparation. “

Their first step, choosing a topic, proved to be difficult. After initially settling in vertical farming, they were informed that another team had already chosen that topic and were forced to start again in Square One. “We had to go back to the drawing board,” Bijari said. “We chose to go with cyber security threats as the basis for our presentation for several reasons. We thought it was a largely unexplored and economically unknown field, and we believed the case would be unfamiliar to judges, thus giving us an edge on other topics with which they can become better acquainted. “

Elaborating on Bijar’s comments, Gee said, “Especially during the pandemic, cybersecurity proves to be increasingly important. We mentioned how our high school was hit by a cyber attack earlier this year and how it affected everyone. “A student who was an online learner. With improved cybersecurity, events like these can be prevented, saving time and money.”

While all members of the cyber security team agree that they learned a lot about their topic, Gee’s favorite part of the experience went beyond the research component of the presentation.

“My favorite part of the experience was working with my team every week to complete our research and prepare for the competition,” Gee said. “Despite how serious we were about completing an intensive project, we were still so much fun working.” together, and I was really happy to have worked and improved my relationships with teammates. “

Similarly, Cole High School teams were a force to be reckoned with in the high school division. The Child Labor team, represented by Joe Barnes, Jayci Tickner, Stephanie Seamans, Natalie Skinnell and Liam Gaffney, came in second, and the Child Malnutrition team, consisting of Min Lombardi, Sophia Seamans, Rainen Paquet and Ani Gome , the first were settled.

For Lombardi, the experience was not at all like everything she had ever done before.

“It was more in-depth, which I really liked,” she said. “We spent a lot of time researching our ideas, exchanging ideas and using our time to write and create slides.”

Unlike the high school team, the Cole Childhood Malnutrition team was inspired to choose their topic from a previous experience. “The topic was actually picked up from a 7th grade field trip,” Min recalled. “During that field trip, my class went to a fantastic company called Edesia. We learned how they did RUTF (Ready to Use Therapeutic Food) to feed malnourished hungry children all over the world. We also learned about the ingredients inside the paste, and how RUTFs were shipped globally. When we were resolving a global issue, one of our group members happened to mention malnutrition, which we then focused on and cut short on childhood malnutrition. “

While her team did not end up settling in, Melody Chen, a member of another CMS team, still saw the experience of being enlightening. She said, “My favorite part of the experience was the reflection on how much I learned and pulled from the last few months I had to research with my group. Definitely worth leaving the event with lots of other experiences. For Chen, the preparation she and her teammates did until the presentation is something she will take with her throughout the rest of her academic career. “I feel more prepared and more experienced for future challenges and events,” she commented. “I think these last few months, including the symposium event itself, have made me more confident in my ability to research and just learn about an important topic.”

Maya Barnes, an EGHS senior, coordinated with senior friends Maddie Curnow and me, Jessica Caterson, to be the high school team coaches. By competing all in the symposium itself, leading a team through the process was extremely rewarding and enjoyable. “Coaching felt different from anything I have done before because I have never advised students in an academic setting before,” Barnes said. “I loved it because I felt like we were challenging each other in different ways. I guided them through research, critical thinking, and presentation skills as they reminded me of how wonderful it can feel to educate yourself and engage in important conversations. “

Curnow expressed similar feelings, enjoying the reference and reflection that the opportunity presented.

“This was my fourth year participating in the symposium, but my role looked different this time,” she said. “I took on the role of participant in seventh, eighth and ninth grade. I closed my last symposium as a coach for the school team. It was an extremely rewarding experience in that I worked with some of the brightest high school students and observed the early stages of the passion for developing change as it had for me five years ago.There were a few times when I would “I talked to the students and I would look at myself and my peers. It was definitely a full circle moment and I liked to compliment the three years of my competition with a closing year of coaching.”

Above all, the training left all three of us inspired and intimidated by our teams. “I’m really proud of my Cole High School student team, Barnes got fired up. I could not have asked for a better, more diligent group of kids and I can’t wait to see what they do in high school. ”

She added, “Being able to train four extraordinary young women as a young woman” itself was an inspiring and uplifting experience.

Curnow was similarly capable of her team. She said, “I leave this experience with an overwhelming sense of comfort. This word may seem peculiar in the context of an economic competition that raises concerns about inequality. Rather, my comfort comes from Jayci, Joe, Liam, Natalie and Stephanie. They have proven their work ethic from time to time, and I know the East Greenwich community will be in good hands as they move into their final years of high school or their early years of high school . Their passion has made it easier to say goodbye to this competition. A massive shout for them! “

As for my team Ani, Min, Rainen and Sophia you are all phenomenal students, people and citizens. Your passion, dedication and perseverance throughout this process really exploded in me. Your willingness to learn and adapt to new challenges will continue to inspire me for years to come. Working with you all was always the highlight of my week. I could not have asked for a better team of students and I am very proud of all your work. I look forward to seeing where life leads in the future!

Jessica Katerson is a member of the 2021 EGHS Class.

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