Alumni Ambassador Reflection: Christina Bear SPI ‘14

February 16, 2015

If ever I attended a summer camp that has enrichment beyond academics, the Yale Young Global Scholars Program (YYGS) met the criteria. From the get go, the recommended reading material whet my appetite for global issues that my generation can realistically work on. For example, the food shortage crisis and how environmental changes can affect world hunger made me think of simultaneous calamities that don’t have to happen. With the access to knowledge virtually at your fingertips, I am confident my generation will see lessening of poverty and the achievement gap. 

The content of YYGS Science Policy and Innovation is beyond what I learn in school and hence, it was enriching and a great way to put my summer brain to work.

YYGS brought out critical thinking skills with time sensitive projects, all the while working with a group mindset. Each of us in the group recognized our strengths and not surprisingly, mutual accountability followed to make for a thought provoking and thorough presentation at the end of the course. But the depth of the course in 2 weeks is breathtaking; I learned about 3-D organ development, made a TED talk, made multimedia presentations, and read riveting material. The way the course is planned keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end. There is some downtime but the pace is rapid with just enough hours to get a good night’s rest.

YYGS brought out my emotional intelligence of meeting a group, embracing them, and quickly getting to work on a substantial task of a Press Release to put out fires in California. The professors, who are real Yale Professors, taught us in lectures. My voice made its way out at YYGS because the professors were nurturing and warm; the teaching group teaches for the love of education. I even went to lunch with a professor who encouraged me to think of the change I can bring in the world.

Perhaps the most valuable part of YYGS was dialogue and debate and the ability to converse with students of my age from different parts of the world. The program has a unique way of bringing diverse cultures and mindsets on common global challenges, yet maintaining inclusivity where each faculty, dorm leader, and student attendee was valued equally. And before you know it, lifelong friendships were formed with my roommate from Korea, a friend from Rwanda, and a friend from Mexico (who I saw skiing in Colorado over Christmas).

Christina Bear
Golden, Colorado