Yanxi (Rosemary) Chen

UWC Atlantic 2018-2020

Aged 15, in Camp Rising Sun in the wilderness of upstate New York, Rosemary saw the possibilities of everyone being able to live together peacefully. Sharing this experience 24/7 with students from across the globe, and being inspired by one of the Camp Leaders, including an alum from UWC Mahindra, this transformative month was a turning point that was to lead Rosemary towards UWC. Studying the Pre-IB Diploma in China, Rosemary’s interests in British history, politics and modern Europe aligned with a love of the outdoors, prepared her pathway to UWC Atlantic with her sights set on studying History and Politics at University.

This dream has been given a dramatic boost, as Rosemary, together with fellow student Blanca Husell, has been the leading light in the ‘Young Voices’ project that made it to the final of the Young Aurora Humanitarian Awards in October 2019.  

Yanxi (Rosemary) Chen

Open to all UWC schools and colleges, and presented by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative in partnership with UWC International, Young Aurora aims to encourage UWC students to engage in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and practical manner with current humanitarian issues affecting a community. Young Aurora recognises student projects designed to have meaningful impact – and provides one winning team each year with a financial grant to further the development of their project.

Young Aurora's mission is to encourage, support, and showcase student-driven projects which address concrete humanitarian issues and offer solutions through innovative and sustainable approaches.

Project proposals submitted to compete for Young Aurora funding address a broad and diverse range of humanitarian issues identified in the vicinity of UWC schools and colleges, and often propose close collaborations with local communities.

‘Young Voices’ aims to grow civic awareness in the local community through engagement among young people and Rosemary co-founded the project after hearing the news that the Welsh Assembly was considering a Bill to lower the voting age to 16.

Rosemary says “I've been thinking a lot about civic education as I'm into political philosophies. With the Bill currently being proposed to lower the voting age to 16, a civic education definitely needs to come before that, for that to work effectively and it’s not provided for in the school curriculum. Young people want to become more engaged politically, and if we can, we’d like to support and inspire them with different ways to get involved and to help give them a voice. It's initiatives like these that really underpin the uniqueness of a UWC education, it is an education like no other."

‘Young Voices’ began as part of the College’s annual Project Week in early summer, which took the civic education project students out to local schools in Llanelli, Barry and Penarth and also to the Welsh Assembly where they met with UWC Atlantic alumna Baroness Eluned Morgan.

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