DC Day 11: August 1, 2013

This is H.I, and I will write about what we experienced on August 1st. In the morning, we had a social entrepreneurship workshop presented by LearnServe International. We came up with a list of social problems which irritates us, and discussed the ways to solve one of them in groups. Our group decided to make a social action project on racial profiling. Our plan was to establish an organization which hosts events such as community work and soccer leagues and have participants from various wards of Washington D.C. The other groups worked on raising awareness of police officers who abuse their rights and youth’s involvement in politics. After that, we headed to Ellington and made a quilt there. We each designed one quilt with a symbol, and stuck it to two large cloths — one for the D.C side and one for Japan.

One thing I learned that stuck to my mind is that there are different ways to make a social change. Before this workshop, I used to think that taking an action which directly approaches the problem was the only basic way for normal citizens like us to make a social change. However, I learned that advocating and raising awareness is just as effective as taking direct action, which surprised me. This helped me connect to new possibilities to how I can make a difference in society.

What struck my “heart” the most was what Scott Rechler, Director of LearnServe International, said; he mentioned that we shouldn’t wait for things to happen, but make it happen on our own. Right before the end of the workshop, he showed us a video of what LearnServe International does, which was to fund and support high school social entrepreneurs. From the video, I learned that even students like us don’t have to wait until we become adults to create our own social project. Since there are many things I leave aside just because I think I am too young, this impressed me and motivated me to think of things I would like to undertake without giving in easily. Though this is something people from other organizations have been pointing out a lot, Scott also told us to keep our eyes open to find opportunities all around us. The thought of creating my own project seemed extremely unreal and distant from my range of what I’m capable of handling, but after this project, it became much closer to reality for me.

Keio Shonan Fujisawa High School

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