High school students from six Southeast Asian countries, visited Seattle as part of their month long cultural exchange in the U.S. through the Youth Leadership Program on Oceans. Hosted by the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS) at the University of Washington, these nine students participated in a range of activities to assist them in developing skills in leadership, civic engagement, and social change, specifically in the area of protecting and cleaning up the oceans. Students were from Indonesia, South Korea, China, the Philippines, Japan and Thailand.
The purpose of this program is to educate and empower young leaders to be actively engaged in addressing issues related to ocean pollution, acidification, sustainable fishing, and protection of designated marine areas.
MARINA students, second-year, Jillian Lyles and first-year, Hannah Bassett, had the opportunity to sit on a panel with the visiting students, along with SMEA second-year, Yunzhou Li. The SMEA students shared what they do for their research, what inspires them to do their work, what they perceive as the biggest threat to the Pacific Ocean, and what they believe young people can do to respond to environmental threats. They then fielded questions from the budding leaders and discussed how the students might go about learning more about real world scenarios that they will be addressing back home. Both Lyles and Bassett found the exchange incredibly inspiring and look forward to seeing what these impressive students do in the future.