Brittany makes a world of difference
Brittany Siddle can spend hours debating. So when her teacher, Noelle Nubret, suggested a conference where young people discussed everything from the environment to terrorism, she was all over it.
“I particularly love talking about women’s rights,” said the Warwick Academy student. “I really want to be the change in the world.”
The Global Young Leaders Conference was held over ten days this month, in Washington and New York City.
The annual event is aimed at expanding youth leadership skills and promoting global understanding.
To get there, the 16-year-old had to fly by herself for the very first time.
“It was a big honour to be chosen,” Brittany said. “I was expecting another individual from Bermuda to be at the conference.
“When I found out I was the only one it was very intimidating. The flight was all right though. I used the time in transit to think about what I should expect at the conference, and to say to myself, you can do this.”
The 340 students were separated into groups to debate. Each group was then assigned a country, and asked to represent its issues.
Brittany’s group was given Japan.
“I didn’t know anything about the country,” she said. “No one represented their own country. It was a way for us to learn about other cultures.
“Now that I know more about it, I find Japan more interesting.”
Her proudest moment was when her group chose her to address the entire conference.
“One student was chosen from every group,” she said. “So there were 13 students.
“I’d spoken in front of school assemblies but this was different. I didn’t know the people I was talking to.
“When each person read, I’d feel a wave of nervousness. But then I thought, the group must have chosen me for a reason. I think the conference really helped me with my self-confidence.”
She particularly enjoyed the simulated global summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
“It was more active,” she said. “In Washington, DC we had a lot of people from the community come in and talk to us. It gave us an opportunity to vote for or against each resolution. This replicated what an ideal UN conference would look like with a structured procedure and intense debate period.”
She hopes to use knowledge gained from the experience as Warwick Academy’s official human rights leader when school resumes next month.
Brittany shares the role with her friend Mya Gibbons. The pair will hold discussion groups, and organise human rights awareness events.
“We had to interview for the position,” she said.
Brittany hopes to become a journalist.
“My dream job would be to travel and write for National Geographic magazine. I think journalism can promote world peace by giving a voice to people who otherwise don’t have one.”
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