Courage and communication were the themes of St. Andrew's Schools' study abroad trips this past summer, and the Upper School community learned about these global adventures in an assembly on Friday, Sept. 20. In July 2019, five Priory students went with chaperone Deborah Devine-Sherman to the Summer Global Leadership Institute at Oakridge School in Hyderabad, India, where they met with fellow student leaders and learned from examplars of moral courage working in India. These included India's youngest female pilot, a woman business executive who quit her job to start a school for under-resourced communities, and the founders of a prison whose focus is on effective rehabilitation of its inmates. The Priory girls shared that the trip gave them a new understanding of moral courage, in that it requires continuing action to stand up for one's beliefs, as well as unforgettable experiences learning Bollywood dance, yoga, and exploring old Hyderabad on their own, where senior Emma Fong also discovered she was "an animal" when it came to bargaining for souvenirs.
Another Priory group went to Europe, chaperoned by Alethia Donathan and Jean Schmitz, where they learned firsthand about global communication as they explored Paris, visiting museums and street art in the 13eme arrondissement, and dining in Parisian homes and culinary schools. The group then joined 1800 students from around the world at a summit in Davos, Switzerland that encouraged them to find ways to communicate with each other as they competed on multiligual teams working on design thinking projects, and junior Mayuko Ikeda was part of the competition's winning team! The girls also noted that they walked over 50 miles over the course of the trip, giving a new meaning to the term globe-trotting.
These trips were made possible in part by generous grants from the Stevens World Peace Foundation. Seniors Anji Cash and Catherine Mount encouraged the rest of the Upper School to take advantage of these and other resources available to Upper School students, including the Distinction in Global Leadership program that unites learning, service, and travel into a rigorous and exciting high school curriculum unique to St. Andrew's Schools.