New Program Opens A World Of Opportunities To Students
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Campbell High School students now have a chance to learn Arabic along with leadership skills, thanks to a partnership between the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council (PAAC) and One World Now! (OWN) Hawaii.
“OWN’s overall mission is to develop global leaders,” said Jill Takasaki Canfield, PAAC executive director.“Therefore, beyond the language skills, leaders need to be intercultur-ally competent, have a more inclusive world view and be motivated to create change in the world.”
Students participate in the program three times per week after school. Two days are devoted to Arabic studies, and on the third day they attend leadership workshops facilitated by PAAC.
OWN is the only program offering Arabic to high school students in Hawaii. The classes are conducted by Adly Mirza, a professor in Arabic at both the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University. PAAC’s high school director, Natasha Chappel, heads up the leadership program.
PAAC had a previous relationship with Campbell through its High School Global Education Program. The council decided to sign OWN onto the team after hearing OWN founder Kristin Hayden speak to local educators earlier this year.
Working together came naturally for the two groups because of their mutual interest in providing global leadership opportunities to high school students.
“The OWN model is language, leadership and study abroad,” Takasaki Canfield said, adding that Campbell’s International Baccalaureate program made the school an excellent candidate to launch this program. Funding for the program came from Qatar Foundation International.
So far, students in the PAAC program were able to attend Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech last month on international policy at Kahala Hotel and Resort, along with PAAC students from Waianae, Nanakuli, Sacred Hearts, Moanalua, Mililani, Aiea, Damien, Mid-Pac, UH Lab and Radford high schools.
They also can apply for one of 15 scholarships that will allow them to visit Japan in June 2011. Since 2004, PAAC has given scholarships to at least 20 high school students through funding from the Freeman Foundation for educational trips to places like China, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan.
The program will be offered at Campbell for the rest of the school year, and it is expected to continue into 2011 with a focus on Chinese language. PAAC also hopes to expand the program to other schools.
If student interest is any indicator of its success so far, the answer is an overwhelming yes, she noted: Forty students signed up for the 20 available class seats.
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