By Warisha Soomro
Tesla STEM High School
I hail from a region where an individual’s world is centered on the people they associate with daily and the screen that keeps them in constant contact. There is a bubble that surrounds the tech city, distancing its inhabitants from the rest of the word while the advancements led by these same people keeps the world moving forward. I find it peculiar to think about, and while I try to distance myself from this generalization of the world I come from, I should note that that this is my world as well, but only to an extent.
My world branches out past the FOX News stories discriminating people like me – associating my headscarf with the tragedy involving the “Je Suis Charlie” case and my Pakistani background with the terrible aftermath of the events surrounding Osama bin Laden – that too many people wrongly follow. My world branches out past the social media sites filled with the unvarying “selfie” and “outfit of the day” posts made to impress and succeed the previous user in terms of the number of “likes.”
My world is more than just the TV shows that Netflix allows its customers to binge-watch for hours on end.
I believe my world branches out from this mindset because of the perspective I have gained. I credit those perspectives to the diversity I have encountered throughout my life.
I have been lucky for the opportunities to speak with refugees from Burma, befriend Somalian refugees during Friday nights at the Bellevue musjid, and explore Seattle with exchange students from Iraq and Mexico as part of the Global Youth Leadership Initiative. Every experience allowed me to learn something new, see the world a little differently, and prompted me to act differently.
This marked the beginning of Tesla STEM High School’s Multicultural Club. While aimed at embracing the different cultural backgrounds present at our school, the overarching goal was to promote global awareness at a school focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Partnering with the school’s leadership committee, Global Awareness Week was established as a school tradition to bring current issues to light and discussing them further. While themes range from “Human Trafficking Tuesday” and “Water Rights Wednesday,” I can proudly say the event has worked out better each year – allowing myself and my peers to gain understanding of the world and the people in it. Emerging from the bubble we seem to put ourselves in, embracing diversity has allowed for deeper thinking and concern for others. The new perspective has allowed for stimulating discussion and the ability to get to know people in a way other than before and that most definitely makes a difference in the way we as humans think, act, and respond. (end)