Moses Farmer, a freshman at Curtis High School in Staten Island, joined Global Kids in the Fall of 2001. He has been one of the most enthusiastic members of the Curtis leadership program. For that reason and more, he is this month's Global Kids Leader. Below, Moses reflects on his recent experiences with Global Kids:
"The Global Kids Teach-in in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was excellent. Listening to excerpts from his powerful speech against the Vietnam War meant a lot to me. It made me think about the current war in Afghanistan, where the use of violence has been justified as a means towards peace. I think it is important for us to try to educate ourselves about the reasons behind the hate that resulted from the events of September 11th."
"Knowledge of world affairs is very important. I appreciate the work Global Kids does because we are provided with information on current and past issues, and given the opportunity to engage in open discussions with our peers."
"The program has also exposed me to different political and cultural events. For example, I learned about Jacob Lawrence when I was in the eighth grade, but going to see most of his work on display at the Whitney Museum made the experience real on a different level."
"Thanks Global Kids!"
"I'm a celebrity magnet," said AliReza Hajihosseini, in reference to running into Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey after a recent Global Kids meeting. But alongside his "magnetic" personality, we chose Ali as a featured GK leader because of his outstanding involvement in our organization.
Ali first heard about Global Kids last year through his sister, Fatemah, and began attending the All-City Friday Leadership. Today, he is one of our most involved students. "Ali has a genuine interest in international affairs, peace and justice, and human rights," said Joe Hernandez, GK's Coordinator of Special Projects. "He's self-motivated and highly intelligent. What's more, Ali is fun - he relates well with both adults and peers."
Ali was so supportive of Global Kids establishing a presence in his school, the International High School in Queens, that he single-handedly sought out an office, beautifully decorated it, and even arranged for and set up a computer for the GK staff. Besides his weekly participation in International High School's leadership program, he also participates in All-City Friday Leadership, the GK Conference Planning Committee, and the Digital Divide Project. In addition to these ongoing projects, Ali participated in the GK skit at the annual fundraiser in December (his personal highlight) and served as a GK delegate for the U.N. Special Session on Small Arms in May, 2001. "He's very impressive," said Carole Artigiani, Executive Director of Global Kids.
In the future, Ali wants GK to touch more students' lives. He wishes more young people were involved and wants to help Global Kids raise more funds to make this possible. He believes in GK's work because it raises awareness and helps young people think more critically about global issues. "Global Kids is a place where young people can expand their mind," said Ali. "It teaches young people how to be more tolerant and work to become Global Citizens."
Ali hopes to use his involvement in Global Kids to prepare him for college. He plans on studying International Law and/or Business after he graduates from high school in 2003. After college, Ali wants to return to his country of origin, Iran, and work on various issues, including human rights and multiculturalism.
Roksana Mun is a thoughtful and articulate youth leader who exemplifies what Global Kids is all about. Roksana, a 16-year-old junior at Clara Barton High School, joined GK in 2000 when she was a sophomore. As soon as she began attending Clara Barton's Girls' Health Leadership Program, she immediately immersed herself in the exploration of critical issues which affect young women worldwide.
At each leadership meeting, she enters with a willingness and a curiosity paralleled only by her enthusiasm and honesty. Her voice is always heard and she maintains a balance of respect and honesty while engaging in dialogue with her peers. Over the past year, she has taken on a leadership role in the after-school program through her participation in special projects and activities.
Roksana was selected to be a youth delegate for ECPAT (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking) at the Prep-Com for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children last spring. After her articulate and passionate involvement, ECPAT-USA invited the GK Leaders from Clara Barton to help form their first Youth Advisory Board.
This year, Roksana has become increasingly interested in exploring her role as a young Muslim American woman in New York City post September 11th. Due to her own interest, she is creating and co-facilitating workshops on Women and Islam for both her classes and the after- school program and is seeking to promote understanding and respect for diverse cultures.
Roksana describes herself as outspoken, honest with her opinions, energetic and hopeful for the future. Her involvement in Global Kids has increased her knowledge on global and women's issues, helped her to rethink career choices and to look more objectively at issues. Her goal is to work in an international nonprofit organization within the health and medical sector and to continue to be true to herself. She possesses a unique depth of character and is constantly extending herself to reach other levels of understanding.
For all of these reasons, and many more, Roksana Mun is our featured GK Leader of the month.
Joliz Cedeno, a 17-year-old senior at Beacon High School, joined GK in 1999 when she was a sophomore. She came at first because her school required her to take an internship. Immediately, she joined Youth Pulse, GK's youth-produced radio project, where she learned how to research, create, edit, and, eventually, host a radio program.
She quickly became involved in other Global Kids activities and programs. She became a member of the citywide leadership program in Manhattan, where, every Friday for the past three years, she has participated in workshops with young people from around the city.
She also began attending the Global Kids Council on Foreign Relations Roundtables where she has read articles and discussed a number of foreign policy issues from U.S. relations with Cuba, Iraq, and China to the domestic and international "war on drugs."
Through all of these activities, Joliz demonstrated her increasing knowledge and skills. Everyone was impressed with Joliz, so much so that she was selected to be one of the emcees for GK's 2000 Annual Conference, "Is Justice Just This?," an honor rarely bestowed upon a sophomore. In addition to serving as one of the conference emcees, she facilitated a workshop on tobacco and globalization. And all of this was in her first year!
At the end of her first year in Global Kids, the staff nominated Joliz to be one of the two student members of the Board of Directors. She continued the work she was doing with Youth Pulse, becoming increasingly skilled as a radio host. She also continued attending the citywide leadership meetings and the Council on Foreign Relations Roundtable series. She facilitated a workshop on racism and bias awareness at the WNET (Channel 13) Teen Leadership Institute.
This year, Joliz began to explore her thespian side by performing in the annual GK fundraiser skit, as well as in the skit for the annual conference. She facilitated two workshops for the 2001 Annual GK Conference, "Children's Rights: Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future."
Her skill as a facilitator helped her to win one of the four positions available this summer as a GK Peer Educator. For two months, she and her peers created and facilitated workshops on small arms, environmental racism, sexual exploitation and world hunger for young people throughout the city.
This year, she was selected to be one of the students to go to Croatia for 2 1/2 weeks to give workshops on children's rights, ethnic conflict, leadership, and creating a civil society. She possesses the integrity, talent, and maturity not often seen in one so young. She is a beautiful young woman, and we are all blessed to have her in our midst. For all of these reasons, Joliz Cedeno is our Youth Center GK Leader of the month.