| Shi-Yi at 350 Rally
“When I was studying in Grade 10 and 11 in AIS, I saw myself as a ‘humanity, environment and poverty’ person who focused on raising people’s awareness of these issues. But the Global Issue Network Conference I attended in Grade 12 made a big impact in my life. I started to realize the limitation of relying on individual resources and knowledge in making a difference in society. At the GIN conference in Beijing, instead of thinking myself as a delegate there representing a school or a government bureau official, I was more engaged in sharing ideas and listening to each others’ ideas. The result of networking, making connections and bringing others’ ideas back to school was many times more satisfying and powerful. I feel I was lucky to have had these experiences as an international school student, but the same experience could be promoted in the local community.”
Shi-Yi started pursuing her dream by getting involved in the 350 Campaign in collaboration with Climate Chance. She explained 350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide measured in parts per million in the atmosphere. The current number is close to 390 and therefore humanity needs to get this back under control so as to avoid runaway climate change. On October 24th, Shi-Yi helped organize a big rally in Hong Kong, as part of the 350 Global Action Day, an event that was caught on CNN TV. The day before the rally, Shi-Yi brought a big banner called “350 Snapshot Collage” to hang above the basketball court in AIS. The banner included hundreds of images of “350” to raise awareness about this important number. “It has been a really tough and intense learning journey for me to be a part of organizing this event in Hong Kong“, Shi-Yi recalled. “Sometimes the frustration and tedious work made me wonder ‘what in the world am I doing?’ and it was at times discouraging. But I'm really thankful that I have my old teachers in AIS to keep me going and make me enjoy what I do; reminding me of my purpose. It has truly been an amazing experience to collaborate with AIS as an alumnus and literally, give back.”
As an international school alumnus, Shi-Yi recognizes the benefits and opportunities an international school education gave her. Education continues to play a central role in her life as a student at HKU, but Shi-Yi is also driven by her dreams for life after university.
“My dream is to get the government to support the development of school networks which will create the necessary momentum for the government’s education reforms and universities to seriously promote global citizenship.”
As we talked, Shi-Yi sipped a hot drink from a “Dig-it” mug, which reminded her of her role as a “skeleton” in the 2003 Middle School Production when she was in Grade 8. She spoke fondly about her time in AIS.
“I remember when I was in Grade 11; I used to have my History lessons in one of the little classrooms in the castle building. We had to walk along Waterloo Road to travel from the castle building, and then back to the high school building as the high school building was under construction. I remember it felt like we owned Waterloo Road, and it had suddenly become part of our school campus!”
The “little classrooms in the castle building” that Shi-Yi described, are now home to our lower elementary students. Next year the whole elementary school will move to a brand new campus. “I can’t wait to see AIS with a brand new look,” said Shi-Yi.
Interview date: 20 November, 2009