Making global connections

Benjamin Most

Upper School hosts workshop

Thirty-three high school students from the United States and China honed leadership skills during the World Youth Leadership Institute held in the Kutler Center July 14-18.

Intended to foster a relationship between Chinese and American schools, the institute focused on international leadership in a world connected by technology and instant communication.

“Participants learned leadership concepts and compared those concepts across Western and Eastern culture,” said Director of External Learning and Summer School Jim Patterson.

Students had class from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day and then explored the culture of Los Angeles.

Afternoon activities included laser tag, shopping and playing sports.

“Simply creating a venue where students from two different cultures can interact creates tremendous opportunity for cultural and global understanding,” Patterson said.

Students who attended the leadership program were also encouraged to attend the annual World Leading Schools Association student conference that took place the following week in order to further promote communication between Chinese and American students.

Next year’s leadership institute may be two weeks long instead of one.

“This is complex interdisciplinary course work, so additional time is needed to delve deeper into the subject matter,” World Youth Leadership Institute teacher Jordan Church said.

International participants attend school conference

Harvard-Westlake hosted students and faculty for the second annual World Leading Schools Association student conference, hosted at the Upper School July 20-24.

The 75 attendees included high school students and accompanying faculty members from WLSA member schools in China, South Africa, Canada, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. About 50 percent of the schools were Chinese. WLSA encourages interactions between the east and the west, setting it apart from similar organizations that support international relations.

“The purpose of the association is to promote cross-cultural and educational exchange between the member schools,” said Director of External Learning and Summer School Jim Patterson.

In 2013, the first WLSA conference of this type was held in Shanghai. Both years the event began with student conferences. Students toured cultural sites across the host city, keeping in mind this year’s conference theme, “learning outside the curriculum.” Destinations included the Grand Central Market, Disney Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Olvera Street.

“I would say that hands-down [the conference] was a great success for WLSA as an organization but also for Harvard-Westlake as a school to be able to host this type of event that brought together so many different kids from so many different parts of the world,” Patterson said.

Conference participants said they built lasting connections with each other. Co-leader of the WLSA student planning committee Nina Woythaler ’16 said that she has stayed in touch with her new friends.

“The funniest and most fascinating conversations we have always revolve around differences in our cultures,” Woythaler said.

Combined soccer teams win first Hudnut Cup

 Harvard-Westlake won the inaugural Hudnut Cup this year, a soccer tournament that was a part of the World Leading Schools Association conference at the Upper School July 20-24.

Harvard-Westlake players from the varsity and junior varsity teams competed together against a team from China and an international team with players from Europe and South Africa.

Harvard-Westlake won its first game against the international team 5-0 and its second game against the Chinese team 5-0.

The final game of the tournament was between the Harvard-Westlake team and a mixed international and Chinese team. The Wolverines won 4-0, which determined that Harvard-Westlake won the Hudnut Cup.

“It was an amazing experience to be able to play against kids from other countries,” Jadon Yariv ’16 said.

The purpose of the cup was to build better relations with schools from other parts of the world. The next Hudnut Cup is expected to be played in England in July of 2016.