Each year the Grade 12 Leadership class is tasked with creating a passion project, and for Monica Song it was a no brainer—bring the Global Shapers Community to SMS.

After listening to a presentation from the Global Shapers in Grade 11, Monica had immediate interest in the club and wanted to find out more about getting involved and starting a chapter on campus. When her senior passion project was assigned, it was the perfect opportunity to get more involved in the process.

“I really wanted to bring the Global Shapers Community to SMS, so I contacted the local hub. Normally the group is for university aged students, but they said they would be open to working with students age 15 and up,” said Monica. “I put an ask out to the Leadership 9 through 11 classes to attend a two-day workshop on campus and had 22 students sign up,” she said.

The Global Shapers Community is a network of young people driving dialogue, action and change. Born out of the World Economic Forum, they are a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional and global challenges. With more than 7,000 members, they span 369 city-based hubs in 171 countries.

In each city, teams of Shapers self-organize to create projects that address the needs of their community. Projects are wide-ranging–from responding to disasters and combating poverty, to fighting climate change and building inclusive communities. Shapers are diverse in expertise, education, income and race, but are united by their desire to bring about change.

The two-day workshop at SMS focused on digital media literacy, which is a micro-curriculum the Global Shapers have amended to the Victoria Hub for SMS.

The girls took an in depth look at news articles, the importance of background research, understanding sources, fake news, and more.

“The night before the workshop I couldn’t sleep, I was really nervous about how it would go and felt a lot of pressure. But I learned that you just have let go, trust the team you are working with and have patience. Everyone participated, and it was neat to see girls from all over the world get involved,” said Monica.

SMS is truly shaping global perspectives with our very own students from Canada, China, Japan, Mexico and Germany all taking part in the workshop. Not only does this promote a variety of perspectives within the classroom, but Global Shapers has chapters all over the world and the girls can stay involved and join an international hub when they return home.

After the workshop, 16 students signed up to participate in a dedicated focus group who will look to get more involved and get something off the ground here at SMS.

“Monica was first introduced to the Global Shapers Community in Grade 11, so it’s been neat to see her take an interest in something that was sparked here at SMS. What impressed me most was her initiative to pursue something like this beyond that classroom, knowing it was not meant for high school students. She went out on her own and now she is providing an amazing opportunity for the girls here,” said Donna Holmwood, Leadership 12 teacher.