Weaving Stories and Activism: Meet Avery
Grade 10 student Avery will be pursuing the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma in the upcoming year. Highly engaged with the school community through various clubs and activities, Avery is ambitious about creating a positive impact in the world. In this interview, Avery shares insights into his interests and aspirations for the coming year and beyond.
The IB is a holistic program that not only allows students to excel academically but also encourages them to become well-rounded individuals with strong critical thinking abilities, cultural awareness, and a global perspective. In the IB program, students must choose at least three subjects to study at a higher level. Avery has chosen English Literature, History, and Theater. “I decided to take pride in the subjects I enjoy and like doing. That’s why it’s exciting; I’m going to be focusing on topics I enjoy at a deeper and higher level,” he shares. Avery is also involved in the Debate Club and participated in the New European Speech and Debate and Acting Association (NESDA) competition earlier this year. NESDA is a competition where students can apply their skills in public speaking, idea shaping, audience connection, and character embodiment, among other things.
Storytelling as a Tool for Activism and Change
The common thread among Avery’s choice of higher-level subjects and his club participation is his interest for stories. “Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been surrounded by stories. That’s why I like History so much because you piece stories together into a single, large one,” he explains.
With an interest in activism for his future, Avery believes that storytelling is crucial. “If people can talk about their issues and problems through stories, it can help others when they go through the same. It can also help raise awareness for those issues,” he says.
At the NESDA competition, the overall theme was peace and nature, focusing on how the power of community can tie climate change and peace together. Avery emphasizes the importance of storytelling in this context: “Storytelling is one of the most important things. If we don’t know the accounts of people in unsettling times or times of war, we wouldn’t understand how badly we need peace in the world. History unfortunately repeats itself—one can only imagine what would happen if stories from the past were not remembered or told in the present. We need to make sure that injustice and mistakes don’t happen again, and stories have a central role in that.”
The Power of stories in Academic and Extracurricular Choices
Throughout the IB program, along with various clubs and elective classes available in High School like music and choir, students are provided with numerous opportunities to explore the power of stories - and of their own voices. These platforms allow students to express themselves creatively and connect with others through shared narratives, whether through literature, debate, or performance. For Avery, stories can act as a form of evidence. They help us recognize and become aware of times when we’re taking a wrong turn, and make us capable and accountable for our decisions to ensure that the wrong kind of history does not repeat itself.
Avery is a creative, engaged student, deeply involved in bettering our world through his voice and activism. His passion for storytelling and activism highlights his commitment to making a difference. We look forward to seeing the remarkable things he will accomplish in his IB program and beyond.