All Saints sophomore serves as teen delegate to Model G20 Summit - FOX34 Lubbock

All Saints sophomore serves as teen delegate to Model G20 Summit in Beijing, China

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

(Press Release)

All Saints Episcopal School sophomore Sebastian Whitaker had the experience of a lifetime in February as he served as a delegate with approximately 300 students from around the world at the Model  G-20 Summit in Beijing, China.

The Knovva Academy host the Model G20 Youth Leadership Summit in hopes of bringing together high school students from around the world for a five-day, fully experiential learning experience. Students participate in interactive workshops, lectures, and classes based on real G20 topics, then turn knowledge into action, drafting agreements and strategically networking with other G20 countries.

“At the Summit, I learned about global issues and negotiation techniques used by countries to solve these problems. We had amazing speakers everyday from all over the world,” Whitaker said. “Then, we were assigned a country to represent and began negotiating with other countries to improve and advance our assigned country. I was assigned President of Mexico.  At the end of the Summit, we held mock press conferences to answer questions.”

Whitaker attended the Summit with approximately 300 sophomore and junior students from all over the world February 16-24.  Many of the students were from China, as well as India, Indonesia, Egypt, the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, and the United States (mainly Boston). His roommate was from China.

“There was an underground mall that connected to our hotel, and a group of us went down there to shop and eat at the end of one of our conference days,” Whitaker said. “As we were hanging out and walking around, it just hit me that I was in an underground mall in China with friends from Egypt, the UK, and Australia. And I thought how often do I get an opportunity like this!”

He said communicating with the other students was not an issue since everyone spoke English and got along well.

While in China, Whitaker had the opportunity to see many major sights all around Beijing.  “The day after I arrived, we took a tour of the Forbidden City (the palace of the Emperor during the Ming and Qing dynasties).  It is interestingly the exact geographic center of Beijing,” he said.  “Then, on the last day of the Summit, we visited the Temple of Confucius and Imperial School, which basically is an ancient university and the Emperor’s Summer Palace, which is so large that it contains a lake slightly larger than Lake Alan Henry!  We did not go to Tian’anmen Square, but ate at some great restaurants near the Square.  We also visited the Silk Market.”

“I was most surprised at how free the Chinese people were.  I imagined China as a place where people walked in straight lines down the street and there were no private businesses, the government owned everything, and there were food lines,” Whitaker said. “But, it wasn’t like that at all --they had grocery stores, movie theatres, and Starbucks just like in the United States.  There were about 30 cameras going every direction on poles all over the city.”

Whitaker is interested in national and international relations, but is not certain what his career plans are. “I am thinking about law and I am keenly interested in politics,” he said.

He is eligible to apply for Knovva’s Y20 Summit in which a group of G20 delegates are invited to attend the actual G20 Summit and present to the leaders of the G20 countries issues facing young people around the world.

“I would absolutely recommend for anyone to apply for the Model G20 Summit,” Whitaker said.  The 12-hour days are long, but you learn so much and it is so fun. I learned what the G20 is, as well as negotiation techniques. I learned about global perspectives on issues affecting the whole world.  Also, I learned that the actions of every country affect all the others so there must be cooperation between nations.”

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