The GCD: More Than Just a Number

The GCD: More Than Just a Number

by Sabrina, Gr. 12

With just over one year of experience being officially enrolled in the Global Citizen Diploma, I can undoubtedly say that I have gained an utmost amount of respect for the program. The GCD provides students with the valuable opportunity to reflect upon our experiences, allowing us to learn from them to the fullest extent.

I have told my story within the GCD’s core values, and now not only do I have a record of several of the most impactful experiences of my time as a high school student, doing so has in fact heavily impacted my self-confidence and identity. In particular, thinking about my experiences as a third culture kid contributed to the GCD's subcategory of Intercultural Communication. My experience as a Chinese-American living in Japan allowed me to empathize with underprivileged Japanese children whom I helped teach English to. This lead me to engage in exploring my feelings about my own position, and reminded me of the impact I can make on society using my unique perspective.

Under normal circumstances, I certainly would not have taken the time to explore these relevant feelings surrounding an experience like this that predominantly calls for sensitivity towards the emotional needs of children. However, with the GCD’s encouraging instruction, accessible structure, and inspiring values, reflecting upon experiences like this have helped significantly shape the hopes I hold for my future.

My general passion for Community Engagement is reflected in my desire to help those in need through education, something which has been most apparent through my involvement and leadership in multiple service activities. This was something that I was unable to showcase prior to undertaking the GCD. The HS CHIKU Service Club is one example of having an outlet to do so. The insightful, considerate feedback I received from my GCD supervisor on this submission helped me gain a deeper perspective on the significance of my actions through my participation in service. This eliminated any doubts I previously had concerning the considerable time I was dedicating to service-learning. I was finally convinced that grades and test scores aren’t the sole factors that make a student of value.

As students in the IB, we are constantly required to reflect on our work, processes and achievements. Although the GCD is also based on reflection which leads to growth and understanding of oneself, I can assure you that the process is more personally fulfilling. We students will be grateful for the exciting opportunity to tell our own story in our own words and to show that we are “more than just a number”.