By Muhammad Sanrego, YES 2017-18, Indonesia, hosted by PAX in Richland, MO
My name is Edo and I would like to share a story about my latest project. As a new YES alumnus (2017-18), I’m working on making a positive impact on society to show gratitude for the priceless chance I was given to go to the United States and learn about American government, society, and, the most important for me, volunteerism. So recently my fellow 2017-2018 alumnus, Nabil, and I implemented a project called Breaking the Stereotypes. We created a presentation for high-school age students introducing the concepts of stereotypes and generalizations, how people often judge someone else just because of their race, physical appearance, tribe, etc. and the dangers of labeling others. We then delivered the presentation to over 1700 students in three different schools.
In both creating and delivering the presentation, we had help from Indonesian friends who had been exchange students in Switzerland, France, Italy and Hungary. We were therefore able to incorporate some common stereotypes people have about these countries as well as the USA.
We chose this topic because we believe that, unfortunately, labeling and a lack of tolerance is still common in society, especially with social media and the abundance of fake news. Our presentation also included best practices for safe and smart social media use. We’re hoping to conduct these in more schools going forward! Stay tuned!