Rhinebeck High School Students Attending World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Bogota, Colombia
On November 29, at a special meeting of the Rhinebeck Board of Education, 17 Rhinebeck High School students were given the green light to attend the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Bogota, Colombia.
The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which convenes from February 2-5, 2017, is the most inspirational and largest annual event in the field of peacemaking. Each year, past recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize gather to hold panel discussions, meet in small groups, and meet individually with Summit attendees to collaboratively address the most pressing threats to world peace and propose solutions. While Summits typically have a particular emphasis or theme that is responsive to current events, there are four main themes that run through all Summits:
- nonviolence and no wars
- social and economic justice
- the rule of law
- environment and sustainable development
This year’s Summit will focus on Colombia’s recently concluded peace agreement which concluded a 50-plus year civil war and led to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos being awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.
Professor David Ives, Executive Director of Quinnipiac University’s Albert Schweitzer Institute, extended the invitation to Rhinebeck’s students last Spring. After a comprehensive application process, including two essays, multiple recommendations from teachers and community members, and an examination of academic transcripts, a selection committee comprised of faculty and administrators extended invitations to the fortunate high school Juniors and Seniors.
The trip is being sponsored by Rhinebeck High School’s Model U.N. Club and will be led by its faculty advisor, Gideon Moor, along with two faculty chaperones. According to Mr. Moor, “Students who attend the Summit will have direct contact with some of the most inspirational and accomplished world leaders of the past 40 years. Collaborating with Nobel Laureates, as well as networking with Summit attendees from around the globe representing every of facet of peacemaking, will give students a global perspective unlike any other experience. Participation in the Summit will transform local students into global citizens and leaders who are inspired to become change-makers themselves and will inspire others in their community to think globally. It is no exaggeration to state that attending the World Summit will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that has the potential to dramatically alter the trajectory of students’ lives. We could not be more excited for our students.”
The cost to send each student to Colombia is approximately $1,900 and is being paid for through fundraising and family contribution. In order to help defray costs and ensure that every student meriting inclusion could afford to go, the students and Mr. Moor fundraised in the local community. To date, the students have raised over $17,500 from local foundations and businesses, including Sunshine Comes First, Ulster Savings Bank, and Rhinebeck Animal Hospital, as well as many generous individuals.