Claudia Rader: How to Make a Difference
In our student blog this week we talk to Claudia Rader. Claudia has made a big impact at Yew Chung International School of Beijing, being involved with a variety of co-curricular activities spanning sports, music and charity and always striving to make a difference to our community.
Please introduce yourself
My name is Claudia Rader and I’m from the United States. I am currently a student in Year 12 – so I have just finished my first year of IBDP.
What activities do you participate in at school?
Quite a few! Mondays I usually play soccer, though the season is over now. I am also involved in Roots & Shoots, Senior Orchestra, Period Project, and Kickboxing. I have worked on the student film festival too and sometimes I MC for school assemblies – introducing speakers and making contributions.
Tell us a bit more about Roots & Shoots and Period Project
Roots & Shoots is an environmental education programme designed to help people bring about positive change in their environments and communities. They teach that everyone can make a change, even if it’s only something small.
Period Project is a project to raise awareness around menstruation. It encourages more openness about periods and also provides sanitary products for girls in the loos.
In my view, these are both really positive things for our community and wellbeing.
Which of your activities has been particularly rewarding this year?
Definitely Soccer. One of my favourite things about soccer is that we play with people in different year groups who I otherwise wouldn’t know very well. I have particularly enjoyed getting to know the younger students, and helping them grow and improve their skills.
The ACAMIS Sports League has been a real highlight. We didn’t win very many matches but our team had a really strong bond and good attitude so that, no matter what happened, we always had fun. The matches that we lost, we definitely won in spirit! That’s the most important part really – making memories and friends and sharing a great bond with your team.
What is the importance of these activities for you?
I have found it particularly rewarding to be involved in projects such as Roots & Shoots that I strongly believe in. We are given the opportunity to make an impact in our school and in the wider community and it’s a great feeling to make a change. Whatever your interests, if you can do things to make the school or community a better and happier place you should seize the opportunity!
Participating in these activities has also helped me grow as a person – I have acquired a lot of useful skills by working with groups and planning projects.
How would you describe the YCIS Beijing school community?
I think our school has a unique community. It’s very tight-knit compared to the other schools I’ve been to. Everyone knows who everyone is and we all get along.
I would say that YCIS Beijing feels like a large family. You can be friends with your teachers, and you can talk to anyone about anything. I never experienced that in the States.
How has YCIS Beijing helped you keep up with your interests during the year?
Through my CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) activities, I’ve been able to try out different things with photography and making videos. It’s been great to have a chance to learn new things in an area of interest to me that falls outside of school classes.
What do you feel are the unique advantages of being a student at an international school?
You get to meet a lot of different people from around the world. That’s different from the States where it feels like you’re with the same people and everyone has similar stories. When you’re at an international school, you’re constantly meeting new people and learning about the world.