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Building Bridges
Written by Angela Kim | Published. 2020.07.31 19:58 | Count : 1448

As a child, I often imagined myself as one of the main characters of a fantasy hero book. Lying flat on the living room’s cozy carpet, I was sometimes a twelve-year-old girl with metaphysical powers levitating devils and bending space, or a demigod with supernatural control over water defeating monsters in Greek myths. From fantasy fiction to inspiring memoir, books that contained a concept of heroism in their distinct ways made me turn pages, and I dreamed of becoming a heroine one day who could make a positive difference in the world. Thereafter, I have delved into Model United Nations and kept engaging with the world through quite various ways. Now as a rising sophomore, I picture myself as a global citizen who can contribute to better the world even without superpowers.  

[The United Nations Flag. Photo Taken By the Writer]

When I was selected as one of the 15th teen representatives of the Republic of Korea this year, I was fortunate enough to visit the United Nations (UN) Headquarters at New York and hear great lectures from six significant UN experts on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among them, Lily’s lecture was the most memorable, especially as a student hugely interested in human rights and education. Explaining the purpose of UNESCO, she gave us a presentation on how it has been and still is promoting mainly goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals: ‘Quality Education.’
“It’s about building bridges, not walls,” said Lily Gray, a Senior Liaison Officer at United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) New York Office. Since its establishment in 1946, through the Incheon Declaration, Education 2030 Framework for Action, Global Education Monitoring Report, the Global Action Programme, and more, UNESCO has been a bridge to the world’s development. Alongside that, it has also been focusing on disseminating the norm of “being responsible to be respectful,” according to Lily.
Having been awarded in six Model United Nations that I have participated in, I remember how crucial building bridges between the delegates and myself were, for it was an essential part of writing resolutions and debating during the moderated caucus by cooperating with those who had the same stance. Also as the founder and the chief editor of my previous school’s Newspaper Club, I had to be very careful with the concept “freedom of expression” because it is sometimes perceived disrespectful or biased when it comes to disseminating the truth to the public. 

Currently, after searching for ways to help others amid these difficult times, I have discovered the answer within the planning group and as a regular member of SDGs Book Club Korea. Sending translated books to the children of South Sudan, actively participating in various online activities, and promoting mainly Sustainable Development Goal 4, I have and still am passionately engaging with the global society. And through it, I have learned to be malleable in difference and education.

[The Writer Inside the United Nations. Photo Taken By Nakyung Lee]

Memories are an indispensable segment of our lives. They shape our personality as all our past experiences are stored there. From a young age, the thought that I can also be a good influence on someone or something has always captivated me, and I was naturally content in helping someone or something. With this trait persisting on me until now, I was attracted to human interaction and communications, building bridges between me and society. Recently, as I had the time to recount all the memories written down on my Naver blog, I was able to reaffirm the importance of international communications in my life. Although my life isn’t mapped out, I believe that through these experiences, I got to step a bit closer to the person I’d like to become. To all the people in quarantine, I thus recommend you try skimming through your old journals or picking up your old-time favorites. Maybe you’ll find yourself becoming the hero of your book.



Angela Kim
Freshman (Grade 9)
Yantai American School

Angela Kim  student_reporter@dherald.com

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