Georgetown Students Attend Education Conference in Kosovo
Published: Thursday, August 2, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 2, 2012 12:08
For Asjed Hussein (SFS ’15) and Brian Potochney (SFS ’15), this was no ordinary summer vacation.
The week of July 9, the two joined peers from around the world in a mountain village in Kosovo at the One World Youth Project’s annual Summer Training Conference.
An international education nonprofit organization founded by Georgetown alum Jess Rimington (SFS ’09), OWYP facilitates global competence by connecting secondary school students with university mentors who teach the importance of mutual respect and understanding of different cultures.
The training program allows 12 project manager fellows representing six universities to meet and hone their leadership, communication and management skills. The project managers aim to increase global awareness, respect and understanding in their local communities during the coming year.
Students from universities in the United States, Guyana, Turkey, Kosovo and Pakistan were represented at the conference, according to OWYP Communications Director Anjali Daryanani.
Hussein and Potochney said they will employ the skills they learned during the week-long program in Kosovo to further OWYP’s mission as they work with other project ambassadors at Georgetown and around the world to mentor local secondary school students.
“I want to see the secondary school students who we will be working with really connect with other cultures, which means we have to hold our own hubs and other hubs accountable to make sure we are communicating, going into the classrooms on schedule and completing the curriculum,” Hussein wrote in an email.
The conference involved a variety of workshops to build camaraderie among the fellows and train them to work with younger students in a classroom setting, according to Potochney. The workshops focused on improving fellows’ team-building, leadership and conflict resolution skills.
Potochney and Hussein led one of the workshops, performing a skit to highlight what to do if lessons and activities do not go as planned in the classroom.
“With OWYP, you are really hands on because you work with the kids in the classroom and communicate with other college students from around the world,” Potochney said.
Because the fellows shared a passion for social justice, strong friendships quickly formed. According to Daryanani, the fellows planned to buy the cabin in Kosovo one day and meet there every year.
“To observe students belonging to distinct cultures and religions, speaking different native languages, come together in the mountains of Kosovo and develop lifelong friendships over the course of a week was a very special experience for everyone,” Daryanani wrote in an email.