Global issues important to local student activist
by Carmell Emory
16-year-old Patia Weibe of Marysville traveled to Panama this past October to take part in a model United Nations event for students. Along with Patia, 500 students made their way to the southernmost country of Central America for "Panamun," forming a mock UN council and debating global concerns.
Patia commented, "It was really amazing and interesting to view all these issues from different cultures. I think it was a learning experience that could bring attention to the world's problems and it is a way to open up the lines of communication."
She was able to experience Panama outside of the student's group planned events, taking a kayak trip on the canal and whizzing through the jungle on a zip line.
Patia is a sophomore at Sky Valley Education Center in Monroe, where teachers and parents partner for an educational program that's part homeschool and part in-class learning. Sky Valley teachers and administrators believe that parents know their kids best, so they will know what is most important for their education. When at school, the children are able to focus on their areas of interest through specialty classes.
"I'm enjoying government classes right now," said Patia. She also enjoys taking Spanish classes, which helped out during her Panama visit, but said, "speaking the language is a lot different in real life!"
Before traveling to Panama, Patia was involved with a youth-based peace movement called Youths for Peace. She and other students rallied for the presidential election and wanted to share the message to spread peace and conversation throughout the world. She believes that "while I'm still really young, there is a lot I can do. Even though I can't fix the world, I can improve the world."
Next year Patia plans to leave her partnership school for the Running Start program at Everett Community College. After receiving her AA, she wants to take a year off from school and join the Peace Corps where she can travel and learn more about global issues. When she returns, Patia would like to continue studying political science and international relations.
When Patia is not fighting for global peace or youth involvement she enjoys being an average girl who loves to ride bikes, stretch out in yoga class at her school, and see all parts of the world. It is clear that this average girl is an inspiration to her community and is on her way to helping the world in a big way.