As I glance over at my calendar, of significant note to me is that 4 full time students at the center will turn 18 before the end of the year, a cultural milestone for many reasons as it represents a threshold into the larger world of adult responsibilities and freedom. Drivers licenses replace learning permits, college applications take precedence over SAT scores.
It is also an election year.
Over time, students at SEC have grappled with countless number of rhetorical issues at the center such as homelessness, global warming, drug abuse and gun violence. Perhaps more importantly, students are starting to ask pivotal questions about their place in the world. Their thoughts and opinions change as they become more informed. Beliefs, once long held, begin to give way to new ones. New opinions emerge and are strengthened, and a new level of resolve and understanding begins.
While our student body may not be U.S. citizens, our hope is that they engage with the world as global citizens, as civic-minded young people who see a diverse world of possibilities, a world they will one day shape by working with others, knowing not just about the issues that matter the most to them, but with well informed reasons about why they hold particular beliefs.