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Seniors Earn GESC Certificates  

Seniors Luke Daugherty and Chichi Oreh were asked to reflect on their time in the Global & Environmental Studies Certificate (GESC) program at celebration ceremonies on Monday, May 20. 

Twenty-five seniors received certificates and were celebrated for their achievements, which included capstone projects, all of which can be found on the senior celebration website. Projects ranged from “Indigenous land use in Connecticut” to “Learning in Harmony: A musical database” and “Food bags for food insecurity.” 

Luke told his fellow students that as he was forming what to say, two friends, one from Brazil, another who is Turkish and lives in the Bronx, came into his room for a discussion that enabled them to “bring our unique contributions from a variety of global perspectives to a table where they could all be heard and valued.” 

He went on to say, “It is this constant pursuit of perspective that I believe has been so important to me while I have been a part of this global and environmental studies program. Through our study of the world, we are called to seek out new perspectives and new truths in everything we encounter. Only by understanding perspective can we truly reach out and interact with the world, with nature, and with ourselves.” 

The GESC program combines coursework, co-curricular engagement, and experiential learning. The mission is to “develop global and environmentally engaged citizens.” Not just during their time here, but for a lifetime. 

Chichi, in her address, said that “during the first few weeks of school we were tasked with exploring our identities through our first seminar,” which helped her discover “what causes I was passionate about.” 

For her capstone project she teamed with senior Chelsea Ndzana-Zogo. 

“There’s a Tanzanian proverb that says, ‘kidogo kidogo hujaza kibaba,’ and that translates to ‘Little by little, a little becomes a lot,’” Chichi said.  

She said her “little form of change” occurred through the capstone project, for which she and Chelsea held African cooking classes that were open to the school community with the intent of “informing students of the rich culture embedded within the African continent.” 

She said the capstone project offered challenges, but not what she would later face during spring break. She was set to go on a school-sponsored International Education Program trip. A few weeks before that trip, Chichi had a family emergency.

Instead of heading to Cuba, she traveled to Nigeria to be with her family. “Through the grief, I learned the importance of spending time with people you love and simultaneously doing the things you love and care about.” When she returned to campus, Chichi said she “dove deeper into topics that intrigued me.”

And she encouraged her fellow GESC recipients to “use every experience as an opportunity to gain wisdom and knowledge from another person. Lastly, never let your challenges hold you back. See each challenge as an opportunity to view the world differently.” 

As part of the ceremonies, during which Marley Matlack, the Christopher H. Lutz Director of the Alvord Center; GESC program coordinator Richard Karrat; and science teacher Adam Alsamadisi spoke, the students engaged in “take action” initiatives. Taking action is one of the tenets of the program. Some students planted a “three sisters” crop (corn, squash, and beans) in the community garden while others chopped wood and helped close the Sugar Shack, the school’s maple syrup facility. And a group participated in a resource recovery initiative, helping to set up the end-of-school-year collection of unused toiletries and food. Students put posters and bins in the dorms. Collections go to those in need. 

The 2024 GESC Recipients: 

Kayla Anderson 

Madison Bromberg  

Luke Daugherty 

Isabella Delach 

Olivia Dunlea 

Jayden Furstein 

Evan Gackstetter  

Zaylie Gore 

Elena Higgins 

Adrienne Hodson 

Michael Hoffman 

Mercuri Lam 

Grace Lund 

Lily Magliacano 

Preston McNulty Socha 

Charlotte Millman 

Chelsea Ndzana-Zogo 

Chichi Oreh    

Elizabeth Purdy 

Sofia Rincón  

Mina Ruffle  

Annie Shactman  

Ella Somberg   

Sofia Sorce  

Mandarin Wallace  







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