International Emerging Leaders Program

at Collegiate School



Earth One Hour

By Zach M.IMG_8889

Earth One Hour, which happened to be more than one hour, was one of my favorite experiences of the trip to China.  The event was designed to reinforce the idea of saving energy, as the whole school shut off its’ power for the event and everyone proceeded to the auditorium to watch performances.

Our very own John Bullock gave a memorable performance, where he and another student sang “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran.  Additionally, all of the Collegiate School students danced to “Cotton Eye Joe” and “Juju On That Beat.”

However, my favorite part of the night was a short play put on by two students of the Beijing New Oriental School in Yangzhou.  Without the use of words, they were limited to what they could do, but their expressions and actions told a life story that was both comical and meaningful.  While we were all exhausted, experiencing this event was definitely worth staying up for.


The delegate’s dinner was the perfect way to cap off the wonderful three days of international dialogue! Carol Baur outdid themselves with the fiesta that had it all. We walked into the school’s courtyard greet by our new Mexican friends and the mouth watering scent of corn tortilla tacos, espiropapas, and traditional corn soup. After eating out weight in food, we hit the dance floor! The DJ strictly played reggaeton, the most popular music genre with the Carol Baur students, and we klutzy Americans tried to learn how to dance as eloquently as them. Fed up with embarrassing ourselves, we taught them how to swing dance. You would have thought it was a Collegiate dance with how well they learned our moves. It was amazing to teach a piece of our culture. At the end of the dance the DJ was kind of enough to play “JuJu on That Beat” so that we could show how skilled Americans are on the dance floor. The evening ended with a slide show of pictures taken during the conference and us swearing that we will listen to reggaeton at home. The delegates dinner was a fun evening to solidify new friendships, eat copious amount of Mexican food, and dance the night away.

Tess P.

Pleasantly suprised


I went into day t thinking that it would be the worst day of the trip because the conference was all day, but I was wrong – today was great. Caroline and I woke up exhausted but our host mom made us homemade coffee, homemade banana bread, and papaya. It was delicious. We then left for school and I really enjoyed Señor Queipo’s talk… he filled me with hope that change is actually possible, and his love for humanity warmed my heart. I loved when he quoted that, “we are our brothers’ keeper.”

After Señor Queipo’s talk, we headed to begin our second day in our committees.  My committee was good and I felt more comfortable talking today. We discussed female empowerment and all agreed easily on our proposals, but after we had written them all out, 2/3 sponsors left to write the resolution paper. While they were gone, the sponsor and delegate representing Saudi Arabia staged a coup and became a dictator to keep us all entertained. She was saying that since she’s the sponsor she was going to take away woman’s rights.  All the fellow delegates were so confused and I could not stop laughing- (it was bad because we aren’t allowed to laugh).   There were quite a few more surprises that made us continue to laugh.

After a long day of conferencing we got home and ate a delicious dinner of sopes and now are watching Mexican Netflix with Marisol. I love Mexico!

Virginia S.



Today as part of the International Youth Dialogue Forum, the delegates and students of Carol Baur had the privilege of hearing Ms. Shondra speak on her experiences as a survivor of human trafficking and as an activist. Human trafficking is vital topic pertaining to both human rights and the international youth dialogue forum as Ms. Shondra stated. Before hearing her speak, I knew the basics of human trafficking and how it affects different parts of the world, but I never comprehended the broadness of the situation. At one point during her talk, Ms. Shondra mentioned a website that allows you to find out any individual has unknowingly contributed to trafficking through products that he/she purchases. There are countless reports of men, women, and children being enforced into working for traffickers.   Unlike epidemics such as gun violence or systemic poverty, human trafficking doesn’t have a sound or visible effects. Therefore it is often times brushed aside as something that “does not affect you.” However, as Ms. Shondra eloquently explained through describing her experiences through her own story  of time spent in the hands of various traffickers, her recovery, and her activism, it made me see that it does affect each one of us. Though comparatively silent, human trafficking occurs everywhere and everyone is at risk. Listening to Ms. Shondra speak was an honor and I truly admire her drive and determination to expose the utter loudness of human trafficking.

Kate K.

A Monumental Experience

After leaving host families at Collegiate on Saturday morning, the delegates traveled two hours north of Richmond to our nation’s capital.  We started with shopping trip and lunch at Potomac Mills, and then toured the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C.  A dinner at Hard Rock Cafe allowed for good conversation before heading off to explore once the rain sopped.  Everyone ended the day exploring the Washington Monument and spending some time together at the hotel.

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Home Away from Home

A Celebration of Community

Across the World

Today the students participated in a Cultural Fair, where they made displays about their country and participated in a performance that demonstrates traditions in their culture. Third and fourth grade students from Collegiate School traveled around Estes gym “across the world” so they could visit the countries and get a stamp in their make-believe passports.

“It feels like I belong to every country now.”

-Arshdeep, India

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“After a week of seeing the delegates fit into American culture, it was nice to see the delegates get to represent and live their own cultures.”

-Morgan, USA

Cougars Connect with IELC Delegates

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