Hugely exciting times are upon us here at Ffynone House! Today, we welcomed a new, globally influential figure into our Ffynone family…remotely! Dr Ronnie Lowenstein is based in the USA and runs the organisation NetGeneration Youth. Her vision is to ‘cultivate youth as 21st century leaders.’ We hope to work with her to empower Ffynone students. NGY projects will encourage them to flex their leadership muscles, broaden their world view and increase their technological literacy.
Ffynone House School is currently the only establishment in the UK to benefit from links with NGY. Dr Lowenstein chose Ffynone House because she observed in her exchanges with us a shared vision of young people as productive and positive individuals who should be instrumental in forging their own futures. She could see that here we wish to give our students experiences ‘outside the eggbox classroom’ and put firm emphasis on personal growth as well as academic success. We are grateful to sixth former Jasmine Klein for bringing Ffynone House to Dr Lowenstien’s attention. Jasmine benefitted from an NGY scholarship to the NSLC last year and was obviously a superb ambassador for everything Ffynone stands for.
In a first for the school, Year 11 and 12 participated in a ‘virtual visit’ with Dr Lowenstein. She spoke to the students via Skype from her home in Virginia. The students were excited about this opportunity to use this technology in an educational setting. One student said, ‘it was like having our very own TED talk!’ As part of our affiliation with NGY, we hope to have more of these virtual visits with other experts and with school students in America and beyond. This use of technology to enable collaborative and community learning on a global level is central to Dr Lowenstein’s vision.
Annual scholarship to the NSLC
Part of NGY’s remit is to award a number of scholarships to students to the NSLC summer institute programmes. These National Student Leadership Conferences take place in universities across the USA in July and August of every year. The nine day camps are intense and inspirational. Students are immersed in a busy schedule of practical workshops, industry visits, expert speakers and leadership training.
NGY are offering students at Ffynone the opportunity to apply for a full scholarship (worth over $3,000) to attend one of four programmes in Washington DC. Our students can elect to apply for Aerospace, Engineering, International Diplomacy or Film, Media and Journalism. Integrated into these specialist programmes are leadership courses to improve students’ communication skills and self-awareness. Conference highlights include a visit to NASA, a newsroom simulation, a tour of the United Nations in NYC, building underwater robots and plenty of socials!
Students have already been looking at www.NSLCleaders.org to get more information about the conferences. We even had to tell a disappointed Mr Boulding that he did not fit the age demographic for the Aerospace course!
Part of an established tradition
In the decade since its formation in 1999, NGY has awarded 115 scholarships to youth to serve as NGY scholars from the US, Zambia, Uganda, South Africa and the UK. The total value of this sponsorship to date is $440,000. This year, NGY will award a further ten scholarships to senior students and, in a new initiative, will also send five younger students to the first ever middle school NSLC camps. This will take the total investment in tomorrow’s leaders to almost half a million dollars. We are honoured and thrilled to be part of this legacy.