06 November, 2023

How joining after school clubs helped shape a new Northbridge student into a community leader

How joining after school clubs helped shape a new Northbridge student into a community leader-How joining after school clubs helped shape a new Northbridge student into a community leader-363824592_298610769204815_1127711385311526791_n
How joining after school clubs helped shape a new Northbridge student into a community leader

(Photo: Adrijaa in New York, one of the 'Global 100' students attending the UNICEF NAE Summit)


By Adrijaa Paul
Student Council (STUCO) President

Since I’d first joined Northbridge International School Cambodia at the start of 2018, I’ve come a long way. At the start of Grade 6, I was introduced to something I’d never even heard of in my previous schools; clubs. 

Simple as they are, they were overwhelming in their variety of causes, and diversity of members. Swept up by the wave of making an impact, I joined every club I possibly could - and there were a lot to choose from.


This step that I took 5 years ago has shaped who I am today; a leader. This leap, in joining clubs none of my friends were in, in finding my own individual identity and developing my passion for creating positive change, has shaped my natural passage of leadership pursuits. Now, I couldn’t dream of doing anything different. 


As a student leader at my school, currently, I am often faced with the challenge of balancing my schoolwork with my leadership responsibilities. It can often be overwhelming, and hard to handle. One thing I’ve noticed is shared amongst my peers and I is a feeling of guilt that we often associate with taking time for ourselves instead of constantly studying or working on our clubs.  


However, recovery time is important in achieving long-term success- both academically and personally. This is something that is often emphasized by my school, and I am constantly reassured, at every turn, that I have people to fall back on and trust if I ever felt as though I was falling behind. My school community, peers and teachers alike, empower me to do my best in all aspects of my life. 


Through school, I was given the opportunity to attend the UNICEF NAE Summit in New York. Successfully selected as a participant, I became part of the Global 100, a group of NAE student leaders that workshopped for change, interviewed and learned from UN officials at the UNICEF headquarters in NYC! This also opened my eyes to other resources available to my school such as the Social Impact Grant!


This grant gave me the platform and courage to create movements for change such as the Mobile Medical and Educational Space project I am working on currently with some of my clubs. Its mission is a simple one; to deliver common medical and educational supplies to people in need within my own community, as well as teach basic skills and hygiene practices necessary to live a quality life.  


By providing us with space to learn independence, my school offers me the opportunity to be the best version of myself as a leader. I am given the freedom to start-up, plan, and coordinate my own initiatives and have free range over the impact I make. At the same time, I am also provided with the resources to keep myself safe, and access to the help I need to ensure I do so.   


I am a great advocate of taking on leadership roles in one’s life, because I believe it can teach you many skills important to the workforce, your approach to education, and the quality of life itself. All you need to do is take that very first step.


I look forward to seeing all my peers in younger grades step up to this challenge. I will surely be cheering them on!