Schools in Dubai are blessed with a diverse student population that is actively involved in a range of service organizations; however, few have the opportunity to venture past the confines of their school walls. There is a possibility for students to create a larger impact not only inside their individual school communities but also in the city as a whole. The force of change that could be created by students if they were to collaborate across schools would be unimaginable.
On October 28, 2017, over 30 students representing service organizations from five different schools (Jumeirah College, Dubai College, GEMS World Academy, Dubai American Academy & the American School of Dubai) came together at ASD to participate in the Civic Engagement Summit. The Summit was a first-of-its-kind initiative to encourage students in service organizations from schools across Dubai to combine their passions and resources and collaborate on greater goals to make a meaningful impact on Dubai communities.
Students were given opportunities to network and interact with each other through ice breakers before interacting with the co-founder of UAE's fist licensed youth organization, Step Up. Then, attendees split up into workshop groups, where they collaborated with students from different schools in service organizations with similar missions to brainstorm and develop ideas into potential projects for future collaborations. Students formulated a range of projects from a large-scale book fair promoting literacy to a boat race in which schools compete with each other by crating boats made from recycled materials.
The Summit was an great success and most students were eager to pursue their projects after the event; however, this is only the beginning. Student must use this network to their advantage and reach out to other students and schools in order to build a long-lasting network. Now it's up to us and the opportunities that are to follow are endless.
by Gayatri Babel
Civic Engagement Summit Founder & Lead Organizer
ASD Service Learning Mentorship Participant