JUMPing in Abu Dhabi – January 2011

Student Tasha Krell from the American Community School in Abu Dhabi shares a reflection about experiencing a JUMP! workshop at the GIN Conference in Abu Dhabi 2 weeks ago.

“Inspire” was the theme for this year’s Global Issues Conference which was hosted by the American Community School of Abu Dhabi. Over 200 students from around the world including Nigeria, Vietnam, and Bangladesh attended whose ages ranged from middle school to university level.

Justin Bedard and Frank Cohn (Globalhood) represented the JUMP! Foundation and provided the tools and skills, which empowered the participants to take action and allowed them to go home and implement their “GRRIP” plans. JUMP! was a vital component of the conference, as Justin and Frank were truly inspiring in their tireless energy and enthusiasm for their work. They were involved in many aspects in running the conference, such as the Global Village Sessions, running workshops, and leading large scale activities. They first trained the Global Village Facilitators¬† who then lead a “village” of 8-12 students and then taught to others the recently learned activities in a peer-taught environment.

Justin and Frank also led a large Jumping session with all the participants, which was not only fun (we warmed up to the catchy tune of “how funky is your chicken”) but also allowed us to practice our new taught skills and gain a different perspective while collaborating with participants who we had not talked to before. We concluded the conference with a closing activity run by Justin and Frank which allowed us to reflect and present the initiatives we are starting in our own schools. This activity was truly powerful and inspiring, and many of these projects have already taken considerable shape and action.

The conference had a huge impact as we learned how to think bigger about issues beyond our own, and then meet new people who also want to do something about it. With them, we collaborated and expanded our service initiatives. The effects are long term and life-long friends were made as we developed a lasting awareness for global issues.

-Tasha Krell, High School Student, American Community School Abu Dhabi

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