10th-Grade Students Recognized in Global Social Leaders Competition


Team members Daniela Cataldo, Sofia Bayona, Nicolas Escobar, Juan Martin Echeverri, and Miguel Restrepo with their teacher Brian Summers.

Maria Jose Puerta Botero, News Editor

Global Social Leaders (GSL) recognized a team of five 10th-grade students due to the mental health initiative they’ve been creating as a project for history class. 

This is the first time Brian Summers, 10th-grade history teacher, enters the GSL competition, in which students have to conceive a proposal that addresses one of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. The group members are Sofia Bayona, Nicolas Escobar, Daniela Cataldo, Juan Martin Echeverri, and Miguel Restrepo.

“Our project is about mental health. We are creating a program in which we can help people in the school who don’t know what mental health is and we want to try and raise awareness about this huge problem,” Nicolas Escobar, 10th-grade student, said. 

Throughout the development of the project, the team worked with determination on tackling the challenging issue of mental health. They knew that, if done right, the initiative could have a positive impact on their local community. 

“The project got recognized because mental health is the problem of the XXI century, we are trying to combat that in the best way possible,” Sofia Bayona, 10th-grade student, said. 

The competition has four different phases. The first part, which is now over, was brainstorming, where teams submitted their ideas and received feedback. The second part goes on until April and consists of implementing the proposal. In other words, turning ideas into reality.

“We have been recognized by GSL two times. The first time they showed a project overview in which they explained what our project was about. The second time they posted an advance on what we were doing, and it was basically a blog in which we explained we were already starting the project,” Escobar said.

Each year, these kinds of projects are becoming more acknowledged by teachers because they are an innovative way for students to learn. When teachers propose project-based learning students are able to help others while learning themselves. This is why many students are requesting a shift towards this learning style. 

“Lots of times students don’t have the initiative to help society by themselves, if teachers do more projects like this, people will be willing to participate and make a bigger impact,” Escobar said.