WorldLink Feature Story
Tijuana Teacher Motivates Future Leaders Through WorldLink
Featured on page 6 of the Peace & Justice Compass, Vol. 8 Issue 1 - Fall 2013.
As a junior in high school, Yolanda Robles attended her first WorldLink Youth Town Meeting with her classmates from CETYS Universidad Campus Tijuana. Arriving at the 2006 meeting “Protecting the Rights of the Child,” Robles discovered she was one of 750 student delegates from the San Diego and Baja Mexico regions selected to address the forced labor of children, the involvement of children in armed conflict and the trafficking and exploitation of minors.
While participating in the student-run Youth Town Meeting, Robles met a human trafficking survivor. “Seeing a person who had been through that situation and seeing her have the courage to share her story, it opened my eyes,” Robles reflected. She began to realize the importance of programs like WorldLink. “Sometimes we hear about issues around the world,” she said, “but we never have the opportunity to meet people who have actually had these experiences.” Robles left her first Youth Town Meeting with a newfound appreciation for cross-border cultural exchanges and a commitment to engage in dialogue and social service.
Her relationship with WorldLink did not end there. Seven years later as a new teacher at CETYS Tijuana, Robles was eager to introduce this transformative meeting to the students in her International Baccalaureate class titled “Creativity, Action and Service” (CAS) — a project-based course that requires students to design and implement a community-focused initiative.
“I was excited to go back to the Youth Town Meeting as a teacher,” Robles explained. “It is evident that these conferences form leaders for the future.” After attending the 2013 Youth Town Meeting, her own CAS students Alexander Dey Bueno and Maria Carmen Vasquez decided to organize and host a similar youth conference on their campus for their final project. They welcomed over 15 leading experts in the fields of bioscience, social entrepreneurship and more.
Robles said, “I was amazed at their leadership and organization. They would not have been able to plan this conference if it weren’t for their experiences with WorldLink.”
WorldLink's 17th Annual Youth Town Meeting, "Global Conflicts: Human Impact, Human Solutions," will be held on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 and will welcome more than 700 middle and high school students from the San Diego and Baja Mexico regions. The student-selected theme will address five subtopics: Poverty and Hunger, Global Health, Environment and Land, Human Protection and Peace Processes.
For more details on how to participate as a
Youth Town Meeting journalist or photographer, click here.
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