In 2013, Poppy Mulford, Year 8 at Regents International School Pattaya completed her Global Catalyst Award and was also awarded the school's first Brittany Tang Award for Outstanding Global Citizenship.
The award inlcuded a $300 bursary which Poppy decided to donate to the Pattaya School for the Deaf because of a friendship forged during the school's Round Square Week, one of the school’s activities designed to help students develop into global citizens and make a positive impact on the world.
Students from the Pattaya School for the Deaf played sports with Regents students and during this week, Poppy met eight year old Yok, who taught Poppy sign language. The two formed a special friendship which inspired and motivated Poppy to challenge herself. In 2013, she decided to try to achieve the Athletic Global Citizen Award and as she strived for this award, she wanted to continue to support the school, and in particular, Yok.
She set herself an extraordinary challenge; to cycle 418km from Thailand to Cambodia to raise money for an operation to correct Yok's hearing.
On 19th October, Poppy, together with her father and several teachers from the school set off from Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand. She cycled over 80km each day on average to reach to Angkor Wat, the ancient capital of Cambodia, just five days later.
Long distance cycling was a new skill for Poppy. To prepare, she enthusiastically commenced a rigorous training regime and dramatically improved her stamina and speed over increasingly long distances. She also organised much of the logistics of the trip herself, planning daily distances and overnight accommodation for the group.
Through her amazing efforts, Poppy raised over 250,000 baht (over US$7,500) for Yok.
In 2014, she was awarded the Kurt Hahn Award for her 'exceptional act of service to others' by the Round Square Association.
Read more about Poppy's expereince at her blog.