Pia Leurs - UWC Mahindra

Previous school: Farel College
Place of residence: Amersfoort 
Selected by UWC Mahindra   

“How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?” A brave lady once said. Her name is Emma Watson and she is talking as a feminist, as an activist for gender equality. This sentence works to describe many different groups of people that are not women. This sentence can be used to describe the situation people of colour or people with an alternative sexual orientation are in. The ‘we’ in this sentence is us, the people that are currently invited and feel welcome to participate in the conversation. So instead of asking ourselves how we want to effect change in the world, I am asking myself how I can make everyone part of the conversation. This is the change that we should be thinking about. It is also the change that I hope to be able to make at a UWC and with a UWC/IB education. At my current school I don’t have the freedom to investigate these ideas. At UWC however, I will come across a large number of likeminded people, people that are looking for the same kind of freedom. I am going to be a part of a group of people growing into people that want to make a change about the world and I will get the tools to actually do so. Both the IB education and the people around me will contribute to this. UWC will be able to turn me into the person I need to be to achieve the changes that I want to make. Real change can only be affected once everyone is invited and feels welcome to participate in the conversation, making that the first thing that I want to change.

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