Reflections From the World Affairs Seminar 2022

This summer Liberty students attended the 2022 World Affairs Seminar.


Abby Stapleton

Liberty students attending the World Affairs Seminar on the Carroll University campus.

During the closing ceremony at the 2022 World Affairs Seminar (WAS), I stood in front of 150 of my peers and proclaimed, “Best week ever.” Cheers arose through the crowded auditorium, instilling the idea that all attendees had as rewarding a week as I did. Speaking in front of a crowd that big is uncharacteristic of me. In a room with all the intelligent and kind people, I felt brave enough to share a bit of my positive experience and testimony. My moment on stage lasted less than a minute. If I had longer, this is what I would have shared.

#1: I discovered a passion for hearing stories from everyone I could. I got to hear from all people related to health and wellness on a global scale. We heard from doctors on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic, highly-ranked military officials doing health work overseas, and a formerly incarcerated mental health advocate. To listen, I sat next to kids from all different backgrounds and from all parts of the world; where else are these conditions possible?

#2: I discovered myself. In a place with all new people and the promise of only a week together, it was easy to settle in and dive into the content we were introduced to. I found things I was passionate about and people I enjoyed to surround myself with. Although not the original goal of the camp, it was a wonderful setting for a week of self-discovery.

Sydney Stratton, 12, and Abby Stapleton, 12, at the World Affairs Seminar (Courtesy of Abby Stapleton)

#3: I discovered similarities and differences between myself and tons of other motivated teenagers. Scheduled to the minute, sixteen hours a day. I bonded with the people around me quickly. I met friends alike and unlike me. A month later, we have stayed in touch and still love to discuss WAS at any opportunity that arises.

#4: I discovered opportunities. It was a rewarding experience alongside other Liberty High School students. We loved all the times we shared and the memories we made. It was a special place for us to become closer in an academically invigorating environment.

#5: I was inspired, challenged, and engaged. I grew in more ways than one. I grew academically, emotionally, socially, and mentally.

Anyone around me knows that I spent the days following camp telling them about it being the best week of my life. Everyone should get an opportunity as remarkable as that: to be a part of a group that loves to listen and learn, and is encouraging and kind.

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