Dozens of high-schoolers attend annual seminar on global events
Having read a biography on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Gabe Ren said he was inspired to pursue a career in business or finance — and maybe even enter politics later in life.
Businesses such as Google and Apple have had a positive, tangible impact on global society, the rising junior in North Allegheny Senior High School said, and staying informed about world events will help him be successful in a career in international business.
“It's really important to know what's going on in the world,” Ren, 15, said.
That interest in international events led Ren and 32 other area high school students — plus three visiting students from Islamabad, Pakistan — to spend two weeks of their summer vacation attending the Summer Seminar on Global Issues at the University of Pittsburgh.
The conference, which runs through Friday, is being hosted by Pitt and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization that promotes discussion of international events in Western Pennsylvania and focuses on teaching students about global issues.
Siddarth Narayan, a rising junior in North Allegheny Senior High School, said the seminar has been great, and the enthusiastic staff and variety of speakers have been some of the best parts.
“No matter what you're interested in, there's a speaker from your interest area,” Narayan, 16, said.
Speakers at the conference include Scott Kofmehl, the State Department's senior Vietnam desk officer, and NPR “Morning Edition” host Steve Inskeep.
The students read Inskeep's book, “Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi.” The book provided a basis for their classes at the conference, which is a different teaching approach than in the past, said Teresa Leatherow, 17, a program veteran who will be a senior this fall in Seneca Valley High School.
Though the program has been offered for 38 years, this year's event — which cost $400 each for students — was enhanced to meet a need for “high quality, intensive summer programming for high school students that places an emphasis on international content knowledge, career and world language exploration and college readiness” in the area, World Affairs Council spokeswoman Emily Markham said.
The program now is two weeks instead of one and includes language classes in Mandarin Chinese or Arabic.
Students said the language classes were a good addition.
“You are more immersed in a culture by learning the language,” said Ren, who is studying Arabic.
Logan Short, 17, a rising senior in Ambridge Area High School and a returning participant, said he attended again because of how helpful the program is for students interested in global events.
“A two-week program allows you to pique your interest in world affairs,” he said. “The World Affairs Council is a great first step for anyone interested in international affairs.”
Leatherow agreed, adding that interacting with foreign students fostered a spirit of international camaraderie in addition to teaching them about global current events.
“In today's job market it's so important to be globally literate,” she said. “But it's not competitive here. We're not competing with one another. We're all learning together.”
Corinne Kennedy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- App for parking meters on way to Dormont shoppers
- Mt. Lebanon appeals ahead
- Angry fans cited in shortage of refs in Western Pennsylvania
- Already social media network CEO, Upper St. Clair senior wired for success
- Parents, students fight for Moon Area child development course
- Bethel Park breaking ground on new fire station
- Mt. Lebanon rejects bids to renovate high school rifle range
- Relief ahead for McKnight Road users
- Young Achiever: Troy Ferguson