Two students from John Adams High School in Ozone Park recounted their memorable trips on Tuesday to Japan and Poland studying and participating in climate change activities and events.
Eleventh-graders Osamuyimen Omorogbe, 16, and Josiah Dunn, 16, shared their experiences on Jan. 29 in an interactive panel presentation at John Adams High School — located at 101-01 Rockaway Blvd– with Shantanu Roy, a senior trainer at Global Kids. The non-profit organization conducts after-school programs, where students participate and talk about world issues across the globe.
“When we do an international trip, we try to bring in kids from different sites,” said Roy. “Our after-school programs are all throughout various schools in New York City, and we try to recommend the best students that are committed to Global Kids and are passionate about the topic.”
Omorogbe and Dunn are both involved in the HRAP program, Human Rights Activist Project, where youth advocate climate change and its impact on other countries.
Omorogbe traveled to Fukushima, Japan, for 10 days with eight other students in August 2018. She met with industry experts to learn and analyze the events related to the Tsunami, the Great Japan Earthquake, and subsequent nuclear power disaster.
She interacted with youth from Futabi Mirai School who are engaged in efforts to changing perceptions since the disaster.
Omorogbe immigrated from Nigeria to the U.S. in 2015. Growing up, she didn’t have an idea of what climate change was until she learned about the topic in school.
“We have been doing a lot of stuff contributing to climate change and I felt that I could really impact people by standing up for my community and do something that will stop our planet from sinking down,” said Omorogbe. “Climate change is still very important because I think people like the Japanese people, and even people from my country and other places around the world have been affected by what other people do even though it doesn’t matter to them but to others.”
In December Dunn spent a week in Katowice, Poland, where he participated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24). He and three other students attended workshops and exhibitions in partnership with Peace Boat, a non-profit organization that conducts activities on a ship that travels the world promoting peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment.
The group also held climate change workshops about water pollution at two local Polish high schools and joined numerous environmental organizations and activists at a climate march.
“It’s not just me and other people in New York who think climate change is real,” said Dunn. “There’s a whole worldwide movement and a lot of people outside of America who think climate change is real, and they have brilliant and outstanding ideas on how to change that.”
Both Dunn and Omorogbe plan to continue studying climate change and its impact on the planet, and look forward to going abroad on another service-learning trip in the future.
“Traveling abroad is a transformative experience and our young people use the opportunity with Global Kids to learn about and address critical issues facing our world,” says Evie Hantzopoulos, Executive Director of Global Kids. “Josiah and Osam will continue to share what they learned with their peers, as well as organize around environmental sustainability, climate change, and the importance of being an active global citizen.”