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Year 13 CAS Students: Above & Beyond

28 January 2015

Our current Year 13 students are coming to the end of their CAS programme, which in the end will comprise 18 months of Creativity, Action and Service. The following students have been identified by their tutors as having shown a commitment to CAS above and beyond expectations and for having supported the STA community as leaders and role models over their years in the school.

Here are these students’ thoughts on their CAS experience:

 

Nathan Etheridge

"Coming up on the 15-month CAS milestone, I look back and think about all the things that I wanted to do and that CAS actually pushed me to do. My CAS activities are all things that I wanted to do, but that I might not actually have done. To me, CAS gave me the motivation I needed and I feel that I did what I enjoyed and it worked very well for me. My Service portion took me from building houses, organising a dance, watching lifechanging surgeries to walking around the Quad acting like a slave! Added to that, I also played in numerous concerts, became a prison warden, the diabolical villain in Les Miserables and made a film in the space of three days - not a bad achievement. Finally, the Action part took me further than I expected to go, quite literally. Having cycled 210km in three days, shot bows and arrows, built a raft that failed spectacularly and kayaked down the River Kwai. While CAS might not be the easiest part of the IB, it was, for me, the most enjoyable. I became a more developed person, I grew closer with my friends and, in the least clichéd way I can think of, I have memories for life."

 

Alex Lao

"Over the course of the last 15 months, I have been undertaking the CAS programme under the IB diploma, which has given me the opportunity to explore many different kinds of interesting activities such as soccer, rugby, and singing in the school choir. I have also organised several events with my delightful classmates such as the Spring Dance, the Prom and a dodge ball tournament, which all turned out enjoyable for most people. Out of all the things I have carried out during this period, my proudest and most successful achievement is definitely hosting the STA's got talent show in the spring of 2014 due to the fact that it was a great success. Most people enjoyed it and my crew was able to raise a reasonable amount of money for charity. In my opinion, CAS is a great way to give people an opportunity to develop their passions for new things in life. Frankly, I really enjoyed doing these things."

 

Amanda Cacciola

"CAS is a wonderful thing to have in the IB. It is nice to be reminded that there isn't just studying. We get to use our imagination for Creativity, our remaining energy for Action and our support and love for Service. I've done several different activities for CAS, and each one have been challenging and rewarding. From doing Model United Nations for an entire year, feeling more confident about myself by speaking to a larger audience and introducing my ideas and discussing them with new people to doing intensive lifting and countless hours of trekking and cycling, I have made some impressive achievements. And finally, to raising funds to help build a home. Seeing the smiles and gratitude of the families was really touching. All of these things happened thanks to CAS, and I am forever happy with the many activities that I participated in because it opened my mind, and it lead me to realise that I am steps closer to being a better human being in general."

 

Angana Narula

"The CAS programme has given me the opportunity to contribute massively to the school community as well as numerous other communities and organisations in Thailand. The Service aspect specifically gave me so many opportunities to truly help people who are not as privileged as I am fortunate enough to be. CAS has definitely been enjoyable for me and it has never felt like a burden because I fully committed to everything I set out to do and working so closely with friends on projects that meant a lot to me made the experience even more fulfilling. I think my greatest achievement has definitely been all the hard work I put into raising money for Habitat for Humanity and the work we did in Korat as well. Overall, I am incredibly proud of what my friends and I have achieved through CAS."

 

Ganga (Thaksachan Sirikulthada)

"I had a great time doing CAS because I had learned a lot from my involvement in CAS. I enjoyed participating in CAS since it required me to work with others, and this allowed me to interact with other people in school that I have never talked to before. CAS is also a great part of the High school experience, because it allowed me to be committed to other important aspects of life such as being charitable and open-minded. I never expected this from my last two years in High School and I feel it has benefited me greatly."

 

Juliette Devlesaver

"One of the greatest things about CAS was that it gave me opportunities to do activities that I would have otherwise never done. These activities were often things I wanted to do but never got around to doing, such as Muay Thai or Duke of Edinburgh. Action and Creativity made me realise how important it is to keep doing hobbies and always be looking for new ones to develop. Spending time on academic life is important, but it’s also crucial to be able to relax and do other activities. However, the most rewarding part of the programme was the Service. All the months we spent raising money forced us to think outside the box and come up with new ideas to help the charity we were supporting. Some of these, such as the Halloween Carnival or Valentine’s Day, were really fun. The Habitat for Humanity trip was one of my best achievements as I was so proud of what we had done in such limited time as well as the happiness and change we brought to the Korat community. It was really amazing to see what a small group of people could bring to a community and I hope to keep bringing change to those who need it in the future."

 

Jeremy Weber

"After starting the IB Diploma at St. Andrews, I have participated in a wide range of activities - from football to choir to building houses and even petting cats. The past year has been rather busy, with my studies and activities in CAS taking up the majority of my time. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time participating in them. Notably football, where I feel I made great progress, as well as my contributions in Habitat for Humanity, where we went as a year group to build a house for the less privileged. Taking the time to persevere through all these challenges has proven to me that the rewards at the end were all worth the work. In the end, I feel a much more well-rounded person."

 

Georgia Mulkearns

"I believe my overall CAS experience has been quite time consuming but somewhat enjoyable as I was able to accomplish tasks that I would most likely never thought of doing until CAS came into the picture. I have achieved so much that will help me in the future, not just with further schooling but shaping my personality and giving me insight into other people's worlds. Although the CAS Programme is quite demanding, it was good experience to have and allows you to build your strengths and try new things."

 

Daniel Ha 

"Throughout my CAS activities, I have challenged myself in every aspect I could imagine. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and tried various activities I would not normally think of doing. Creatively, I found my new passion for MUN, or relevance to attack global issues and resolve conflicts within our world. This has led me to find my interest in studying Politics and International Relations in university. In addition, I have development my leadership role in MUN as secretary-general, and leader of the House Media team. In terms of Service, I have contributed to the community through organisations such as Habitat for Humanity and helped out at the Bangkok Refugee Centre and Soi Dog Shelter in Ratchadaphisek. Furthermore, I have been actively attending my sessions of the Action criteria, such as yoga and Thai boxing, which I realised aids my release of stress."

 

Marnie Morstadt

"My 2015 CAS until now has consisted of Thai boxing, Model United Nations, and Operation Smile. Overall I feel as though I have grown as an individual through everything I have learned and have had the chance of experiencing. Throughout the last year, although there were many difficulties at times, I have gained confidence, have developed debating skills and have strengthened my ability to think of possible legitimate solutions to real-life global issues that are occurring at present. Furthermore, I have gotten closer to the culture that I live in, have pushed myself and have shown commitment to a challenging sport and, most importantly, have had the chance to make a difference in other people’s lives. Doing CAS has made me very proud of the achievements I have made and has shaped my outlook on my future. It has clarified to me what I want to be and what I want to do in the future. I want to take everything I have learned and do my part in the world to do whatever I can to make a change and improve the many issues that our world faces every day. I believe that everything I have learned, which also includes leadership skills, negotiating skills and delegation skills, will help me enable this dream of mine and will help me be successful in trying to improve these problems and do the best I, as an individual, can."

 

Varshini Nanthakumar

"During my CAS Programme, I have taken part in eight different activities, out of which some consist of a variety of smaller activities. For Action, I also did various other activities such as trekking and 18 km mountain biking through which I realised my actual level of fitness and I became more aware of my areas for growth because these are activities that I never did in my life earlier. By getting involved, I realised that I had to work on my stamina more and exercise more. For Operation Smile I went to Mae Sot where I taught children origami and played with them. I also got the chance to observe four surgeries: a scarcontraction surgery on both feet, a polydactyly surgery, and two cleft-lip surgeries which will help me with my career in medicine in the future. Finally, for STAMUN, I was assigned the role of a Parliamentarian through which I incredibly developed my public-speaking skills as I had to speak in front of a large audience in the opening and closing ceremony, communication skills as I had to contact all schools, Chairs, and sometimes even delegates often, management skills – both in terms of time and organisation as I was in charge of the allocation matrix, technological skills as I designed the certificates and I was also able to apply my knowledge in Web Designing by being in charge of STAMUN’s website, and finally my art skills as I painted different uniquely designed key chains for the Chairs as a mini gift. I feel very grateful to be given the opportunity to take part in this activity and I really hope I can participate in more conferences in the future."