A New Byram Hills

By Jordyn Jacobson

Last spring, a new elective was introduced to Byram Hills: Global Scholars. Mr. Smith, Ms. Laden, and Ms. Stahl envisioned a class that would make our school’s community more aware of the issues present in our world today. Now, after months of hard work, the class has finally been put into action.

The class began with a lesson on what it means to be a global citizen. The teachers attempted to lay down a foundation for the rest of the program. Ms. Laden explains, “We began the year by focusing in on what it means to be globally competent and why it’s important. Those are the skills in which the students will be assessed on throughout the program, so we really wanted them to understand what that means.”

To enforce this idea, students were first asked to create a poster that represented their personal definitions of global competency. The project was then followed by another project in which students were asked to create a movie that projected why global competency is important. Sophomore Nicolas Rios explains, “The assignments made us think in ways other classes had never asked us to think before. We really had to think about not only the meaning of global competency but also the importance of it. This is vital to the rest of the program because we now know the importance of what we will be learning in the months to come.”

Now that students have a good understanding of global competency, they have begun to dive into global issues. Ms. Laden explains, “We’re going to look at the U.N Sustainable Development Goals. We’re going to study them in depth. And we’re going to learn how to take action. We have started with climate change, and the students are working on an assessment in which they have a choice of what to study. They will be looking at different perspectives so they can really understand it well. This is so that when they take action, they have a strong understanding of the content.” At the end of the unit, individuals will send letters to their legislator explaining a solution to an environmental issue. This is just one of the many ways students will be able to have a legitimate impact on the world throughout the program.

Global Scholars has already challenged students to step outside of the “Armonk Bubble,” and it has only just begun. Hopefully, the program’s future will continue to bring a significant impact to the nature of our school and challenge the minds of our fellow students. In the words of junior Natalie Hooker, “Global scholars is a much-needed addition to our school because it will direct our students into becoming global leaders. I am excited to see what this class will aim to accomplish and how it will inspire our student population.”