ISB honors EARCOS Global Citizen

Hannah on stage

By Nick Yates, ISB Communications

Among many opportunities International School of Beijing (ISB) students have to excel in prestigious external competitions and events, the school designates one grade 11 student per year for an EARCOS Global Citizenship Award. The winner for 2018-2019 is a young person who brilliantly fulfills both the criteria of the East Asia Regional Council of Schools’ (EARCOS) award and ISB’s Core Values in integrity and service.

EARCOS Global Citizenship Awards are for students who are proud representatives of their nation while respectful of the diversity of other nations. They must have an open mind, be well informed, caring and empathetic, encouraging a sense of community and strongly committed to engagement and action to make the world a better place. “Finally, this student is able to interact and communicate effectively with people from all walks of life while having a sense of collective responsibility for all who inhabit the globe,” according to EARCOS’ website.

Hannah G was announced as ISB’s winner at the High School’s end-of-year assembly on Monday. Heavily involved in ISB groups and initiatives like the Student Wellness Council and environmental audit Net Impact, she has also taken advantage of opportunities with partner organizations including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and the Operation Wallacea series of scientific research expeditions.

A panel of ISB counselors and faculty chose Hannah from a strong pool of candidates after another year when ISB High School students have involved themselves in plenty of such service and co-curricular activities. In addition to stressing academic success, the school believes students should be well-rounded members of society embodying ISB’s Core Values of global-mindedness, integrity, respect, balance, service, and creativity.

Hannah at Club Fair
Hannah at ISB’s Clubs and Service Fair, encouraging other students to get involved in the school’s many co-curricular activities

As an EARCOS Global Citizen, Hannah is now eligible to apply for one of six community service grants of $US500 from the council. The grant is intended to enhance and support the student’s continued efforts with a service project during their final year of high school.

Hannah said she is considering applying for the grant to provide audio players to play audiobooks created by her and fellow students for orphanages near ISB, or to support a project recycling excess cooking oil into biofuels and soaps.

She said of winning the award, “I was speechless when my name was called on stage as there are countless ISB students with strong leadership skills and an awareness of global issues. I appreciate ISB’s learning environment and community as it inspires and guides me towards discovering and pursuing my passions.”

Matthew Yamatin, who has worked with Hannah as ISB’s Sustainability Manager and as her cross-country coach, said she was highly deserving of the prize: “With a hand in activities across ISB, Hannah is many things – a teammate, an environmental organizer and leader, a collaborator, an actress and writer, and an advocate for student wellness.”

Citing her leadership of a team to draw up ISB’s new recycling system, Mr. Yamatin said Hannah was an example of a rare type of student who thinks with a global perspective and takes direct responsibility for helping to protect the planet.

While rare in some respects, she is just one of many students at ISB who have taken up opportunities inside and outside of the school to explore passions and take part in meaningful learning.

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