Our students had the privilege of listening to Jerry White, a co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, speak in Tokyo this past Saturday. The talk, which was held at Sophia University, touched on how we can bring about positive change through leadership. Mr. White suffered the loss of his leg from a landmine in 1984 when he accidentally wandered into an abandoned mine field while hiking in Northern Israel. Mr. White not only overcame his loss, he then went on to co-found Survivor Corps, an organization dedicated to helping landmine victims worldwide. He has also led an international effort to enact laws which promote and protect the rights of the hundreds of millions of people with disabilities around the world. Mr. White published a book in 2008, I Will Not be Broken: 5 Steps to Overcoming a Life Crisis, which details his recovery from injury, his work to ban landmines and the creation of Survivor Corps.
After the talk, our students were able to have some one-on-one time with Mr White himself!
G10 student, Na-il, and G11 student, Conan, both shared their thoughts about attending the event:
“We have had many chances to hear about leadership. However, this was my first experience hearing those lessons from a Nobel Peace Prize winner. From the talk, I learnt that leadership is a decision we make in all the small choices of our lives, and that one of the main characteristics of a leader is resilience. I hope that over the course of my years at UWC ISAK Japan and the challenges I face, I will be able to implement these teachings.”
-Na-il (G10, Thailand)
“The talk was centered on his incredible personal story, and how a tragic but momentous moment in it radically changed his life leading him to become an important agent of change. He shared with us the qualities he progressively developed to become a transformational leader and, in this way, generate positive impacts. I learned so many significant things, but my key takeaway was this: ‘a great leader is that resilient and strategic person capable of making great decisions in his daily life for the betterment of all’. This talk has really touched me and I am absolutely sure that the lessons I have learned will be reflected in my life from now on.”
– Conan (G11, Columbia)