Witnessing the Growth of Mini - UWC
Witnessing the Growth of Mini - UWC

This summer, 60 teenagers aged between 15-18  from different parts of the world participated in the Mini-UWC Summer Program organised by ASAP ( "All Students for Action Program"). 

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After a year of preparation, the organizing team designed workshops and activities that center around the theme "YOUth in Action". Mini-UWC aims to empower teenagers with the skills and agency to initiate social projects while also providing them with an authentic UWC experience. After the summer program ends, participants will bring their projects back to their local communities, and we hope to see them make some positive changes. This year, participants in the Mini-UWC Short Course will also be certified UWC alumni, and are expected to continue carrying out the UWC mission. 

This year, Mini-UWC not only welcomed participants of different nationalities, but also from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds in China. 20% of participants received financial aid. We hope to spread the UWC values to people of different ages and backgrounds, thereby encouraging them to understand and learn from each other. We believe that this diverse group of teenagers will go on to make important contributions to their own communities.

 

I graduated from UWC Changshu China this summer and this year was my third year working in ASAP. Joining ASAP and witnessing the growth of Mini-UWC has been one of my most meaningful experiences at UWC.

 
  • In action with team members and campers (author, front middle)

 

ASAP is a student-led organization. Students of UWC Changshu China are in charge of every step in the process of bringing to life this summer program, including organization, publicity, development, admissions, logistics, and more. I am in charge of the Development Department of ASAP, which follows up and offers help to all the projects that were initiated by participants of Mini-UWC. We also promote Mini-UWC to members of the wider UWC community so as to invite judges and professional mentors to our camp, some of whom held online lectures and sessions for the participants before camp started. The Activity Department designs and facilitates workshops and theme activities for the summer program, as well as training all the counselors in preparation for the program. The Media Department is in charge of running ASAP's Official Wechat Account and our Facebook page. The Admissions Department is in charge of the admission process for both Mini-UWC's participants and counselors. They also offer guidance for parents and participants if any questions arise before, during or after the camp. The Operations Department is mainly in charge of the logistics and schedule of the camp, and provide transportation for participants, counselors and guests. Even amidst our busy school life, every department carries out its work diligently and with a strong sense of responsibility.

  • Leading a group presentation

 

I've also met inspirational peers in Mini-UWC. Dedicated to preparing the best experience for campers, we held so many meetings and could not but end our discussion because of the night checks even during the most hectic college application season. During Mini-UWC, counselors start to prepare for the day at 7am, facilitate each and every activity with their Project Groups and Crews, and usually don't finish the day's work until 11 pm.

  • Receiving certificates from the Principal

The quality of our participants are extremely impressive. During the online exchange sessions before the official start of the camp with participants, very often we had to extend our Q&A sessions by one or two hours due to their active engagement and strong curiosity. There are three girls and two boys in my Project Group, who are from different backgrounds. A couple of them, coming from international schools, are highly proficient in English.  A couple others went through rigorous selection process and received our financial aid. The rest came from public schools of inland towns. Even though initially the two boys always took the lead during the group discussions, later on, they also encouraged girls to express their views. They learned to improve their collaboration skills in the preparation for the final presentation.