To culminate the inaugural year of American University Preparatory School (AUP) in Los Angeles, the school hosted an event called AUP Speaks. The event took place on Friday, May 29th at the L.A. Hotel Downtown. Guests included academics from UCLA and USC, local non-profits, community leaders, consulate representatives, and independent professionals.
AUP Speaks was created to celebrate the school’s first academic year in action, to highlight the students’ Global Studies research projects, and to initiate a long-lasting dialogue with the Los Angeles community and the AUP community network.
The school’s student population is 50% international, with students from Botswana, China, Czech Republic, Eritrea, Italy, Nigeria, Russia, Rwanda, Taiwan and Vietnam. Six students were chosen to present their research to all invited guests, and all students participated in a poster walk to present their research topics and findings. The six presenters were 9th & 10th grade students from USA, Botswana, Czech Republic and Russia, presenting on diverse global issues including sex trafficking, climate change, loss of biodiversity, religion, and education.
During the Q&A after their presentations, students articulated that the dynamics of the community and the global studies project has caused them to be open-minded and personally transformed. One student stated, “I have become accepting of others and more open-minded than ever.” Another student stated that “Culture and Diversity changed everything for me. [Before coming to AUP] I never met people from Africa and America. All my stereotypes have been destroyed.”
AUP hopes that the event will become a venue for local business and NGO leaders, esteemed academics, and government representatives to engage in a dialogue about issues of critical global importance, and collectively prepare the next generation of leaders.