Alumni Stories

UWC is a lifelong process, some people say, an experience that leaves young adults with a set of values and friendships that may last for a lifetime. At UWC Robert Bosch College, we have only just begun this process, with the first generation of Alumni graduating in 2016. Where are they now? What have they learned? Meet some of the pioneers as they share glimpses of their journey after UWC and how it has shaped their future path.

2014080020066Luizer Njoki Mburu (Kenia)
Graduate of UWCRBC 2014-2016
Now: Studies Global Resource Systems at The University of British Columbia (UBC)

“UWC has allowed me to believe that anything intended for the good of all can always be realised merely through collective human will.”

I have been a lover of the environment for most of my life. UWCRBC, however, gave me a chance to meet so many other like-minded people who I hope to collaborate with for future projects. Additionally, at RBC, I got the opportunity to involve myself in hands-on projects that aimed at promoting sustainability such as the One World Challenge, volunteering at an organic farm (Lebensgarten Dreisamtal) or participating in the European Convention of International Laureates for two years in a row.

After graduating, I came to UBC with the goal to pursue Environmental Science as a major. Over the course of my first semester, I came to realize that pure Science was not my passion. I was fortunate enough to encounter a friend who told me about Global Resource Systems (GRS) which is a combination of Science and Arts with a focus on Environment and Sustainability. The physical environment has always been a keen interest of mine. Having spent most of my childhood with my grandparents who were both farmers, I came to value nature and human interaction with it. However, so much degradation continues to happen throughout the world that has left me deeply concerned about the fate of our environment and mankind. Through studying Scientific solutions to many of the environmental problems that we face today and combining that with the study of human societies in the department of Arts, I hope to instigate projects in Kenya and other parts of the world which will be a means to bring people back to respecting and protecting nature.

2014080020045Selina Leem (Marshall Islands)
Graduate of UWCRBC 2014-2016
Now: Gap Year volunteer program at UWC Changshu in China

Prior to coming to UWCRBC, whenever I had to present to a group of people, whether it be my classmates, the entire school, or the general public, I was a different person. Confident, poised,
articulate, and direct. Yet off the stage, I was someone who hid behind the unrealistic tales of the
romance novels I read. I was insecure. Coming to UWC, I could embrace this confident, poised, articulate, and direct person and embody it on and off the stage. It helps when you are in a community filled with incredible, confident, intelligent, and bold individuals who became my family. It is an incredibly rewarding and beautiful transition. Now, I do not have to pretend because I am that person.

One of the highlights during my time at the College was attending the Closing Plenary Session during the Climate Change Conference in 2015. When I saw the email, inviting me to be part of the Marshallese delegation, there was nothing but immense happiness and a sense of empowerment as it hit me: I am going to be part of a historical fight for my country, islanders in the Pacific, and for us victims of climate change around the world. This was not a small-scale fight but a global-scale fight in which we, Marshallese, were not the only ones affected but the entire world. I felt strength and determination knowing that I was chosen to represent my country in the COP21. At the same time, very humbling.

For the last year, I have volunteered at UWC Changshu for my gap year. To be honest, it was hard at first. It was very different than the UWC community I just came out of and I unconsciously thought UWC Changshu would be the same. However, the students I befriended and my co-workers helped with my transition and settling into the new environment. This has also been another opportunity to give talks during classes and school events about the Marshall Islands, further bringing more awareness. For the future, I have plans of working on the ground level to learn or hear more personal stories from other individuals who are undergoing the same things my family and I are going through. There are many more voices that need to be heard and shared. There are a few social and environment-related organizations I will also intern with to get a more general overview of people affected, what is being done, what is successful, and what not, etc. Whenever I talk, I mostly share a personal story; however, I want to share another‘s because people need to see I am not the only one affected. Or, encourage the others to share their story. I am not just talking because I am being affected, I am talking because I also see others affected.

There were many talks and conferences that I have been to speak about my country’s plight. Each holds its unique feeling and I learn from it and see what I can do. These are some links to events I have been to and articles I have contributed to.