Megan Thode, a junior at Pacific Ridge School, recently completed coursework at The School for Ethics and Global Leadership (SEGL) in Washington D.C.
The selective, semester-long program seeks to provide the nation’s most promising high school juniors with a unique curriculum emphasizing ethical-thinking skills, leadership development, and international affairs. Thode was one of just 24 national and international students to be accepted for the school’s fall session.
In addition to a regular class schedule, Thode and the other SEGL students spent one day each week in an Ethics and Leadership course featuring case studies and research into current national and international events and issues. The course also included a steady schedule of influential guest speakers including former Nixon administration official Bud Krogh, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, former white house Chief of Staff Jeff Bolten, and other diplomats, philanthropists and executives.
The school’s capstone project is the creation of a detailed, well-researched policy document that offers solutions to an international challenge. Thode and her classmates chose to focus on the strained relationship between the United States and Iran, and during the final days of the semester the students were able to present their ideas and theories to three Iran experts at the U.S. State Department.
“The experience really opened my eyes to the many issues of the world,” Thode said. “But it also made me realize how much I can do to help, not only in the future, but right now.”
According to Thode, her favorite memories from the semester were those spent taking full advantage of being in Washington, D.C., whether meeting some of the nation’s top “movers and shakers”, trick-or-treating down Embassy Row, or being inspired by a morning view of the Supreme Court building from her dormitory.