At IICS we have many opportunities for students to become leaders. The Student Council representatives are leaders for their 250-300 peers in each division. Other important student leadership groups include the Exploratory Committee, the Dolphin Squad, and more. In these groups, and even in class collaborations, students learn quite quickly that being a leader doesn’t mean making people do what you say; it is a matter of collaborating, coordinating, inspiring, and encouraging people to WANT to work towards a common goal. And it isn’t easy learning how to be a good leader.

Last year IICS was fortunate to have a student, Stani M. (grade 10 last year), who managed to encourage and inspire our whole student and teacher community– and many parents– to work together to create projects to help Nepal’s earthquake victims. In a span of just two months, he helped coordinate multiple student-led projects between Primary and Secondary school, like the huge Healthy Bake Sale, Messages of Hope, Holifest, and the Walkathon, which helped spur numerous independent initiatives as well.

Such leadership takes a huge commitment, tremendous energy, and a skill for helping people join together for a common purpose. In the end, the #IICS4Nepal initiative raised more than $11,000, which is helping two of our partner communities in Nepal with their post-earthquake rebuilding.

IICS is a member of the Council of International Schools (CIS), which includes more than 660 schools and 475 colleges and universities representing 109 countries. The CIS International Student Award recognizes outstanding students at CIS Member Schools for projects which exemplify internationalism.

Impressed by Stani’s initiative, the CIS decided to grant him this prestigious recognition. Stani was presented with this award during assembly this Wednesday.

Energized by his desire to help, Stani’s outreach efforts for Nepal did not stop with his school campaign. He decided to travel by himself to spend a month in Nepal with Himalayan Voluntourism, the local facilitators of our annual student trip. While there, Stani helped to build a temporary school structure for students in Bandipur where he also taught some classes, and in Nargakot he assisted international volunteer doctors with village health screenings, helped provide water to a rural school, bolstered monsoon reinforcements for village buildings, and more. In his free time he also got to do some cultural touring and hiking in Kathmandu as well!

building a temporary school building in Bandipurbuilding a temporary school building in Bandipur teaching classes in Bandipur