IYLA Participant Highlight: Xavier

Naomi Yakawich
August 12, 2015

Our youngest participant in this program is named Xavier from Washington, D.C. who is 16 years old. In addition to English, he speaks Spanish and Mandarin.

Xavier Sims (center) with fellow IYLA participants.

Through IYLA, he hopes to improve his ability to communicate on a larger scale. While Xavier acknowledges that social media has the ability to reach a great deal of people, he knows there are disadvantages and therefore strives for a bigger platform with which he can clearly communicate.

So far he has truly enjoyed the experience: he has met people from different backgrounds who speak different languages, and has found that he shares similar passions and dreams with many of them. “It’s unique to connect different world perspectives,” he said.

In one of the introductory activities, Xavier and his partner discovered that they share the same common goal of breaking cultural boundaries. In order to combat the culture disparity challenging the U.S., Xavier advocates for stronger global education.

Young leaders engage in a cultural activity held at the Sustained Dialogue Institute on the second day of IYLA.

The task may seem daunting, but he hopes to create a stable education system that can break cultural barriers. He said, “Introducing new school systems in Maryland could grow to become statewide, nationwide, and eventually set an example for the rest of the world.” Xavier views education as a key platform integral to change.

When asked to paint a picture of his perfect world, Xavier said one with no poverty.

“Poverty would end hunger, and if everyone has money then fighting would lessen, so that solves war too.”

He is looking forward to visiting the World Bank tomorrow where he plans to take every opportunity to meet with representatives and understand how the organization functions and affects different cultures.

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