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Lucas Helton’s Transformative Journey at AFS-USA’s Youth Assembly: Fostering Global Citizenship in Education

Lucas Helton at the Youth Assembly

Wabash City Schools takes great pride in celebrating the achievements and experiences of our students and staff members, especially when they embark on transformative journeys that contribute to their personal and professional growth. One such remarkable journey was undertaken last summer by Lucas Helton, a dedicated special education teacher at Wabash Early College High School. Lucas had the privilege of participating in AFS-USA’s 28th Session of the Youth Assembly: Breakthrough to a Better Future.

Lucas's participation in the Youth Assembly, held in the vibrant city of New York from August 10th to 14th, was made possible through his nomination by two of our esteemed staff members and his subsequent selection as one of only ten recipients of a fully paid scholarship. This scholarship generously covered all expenses, including the Global Educators Workshop, conference registration, lodging, travel stipend, a Manhattan boat cruise, and most meals.

Youth Assembly cohort

AFS-USA, known for its commitment to empowering individuals to become globally engaged citizens, provided Lucas and his fellow participants with a rich and immersive experience aimed at fostering intercultural understanding and promoting global citizenship education. Through interactive learning activities and skill-building workshops, educators like Lucas had the opportunity to enhance their intercultural competencies and explore key concepts and principles essential for creating a more just and peaceful world.

Lucas, reflecting on his experience, shared his firsthand account of the journey, highlighting the profound impact it had on his professional development and his commitment to integrating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into his curriculum. From forming close bonds with educators from diverse backgrounds to participating in panels and workshops focused on the SDGs, Lucas found inspiration and motivation to bring global perspectives into his classroom.

United Nations meeting

A pivotal moment for Lucas was his visit to the United Nations headquarters, where he joined the larger youth assembly and witnessed the remarkable initiatives undertaken by young professionals from around the world. Among them was Moemen Sobh from Egypt, whose project, Visenleer, focused on sustainability and environmental conservation, serving as a testament to the power of youth-driven initiatives in addressing global challenges.

Motivated by the experiences and insights gained at the Youth Assembly, Lucas is dedicated to developing projects that engage his students with the SDGs, fostering a deeper understanding of global issues and encouraging them to become active contributors to a more sustainable and equitable world. By breaking the monotony of traditional classroom schedules and creating opportunities for experiential learning, Lucas aims to cultivate global thinkers within our school community.

Statue of Liberty

We are so proud of Lucas and commend him for his exemplary commitment to global citizenship education and his dedication to empowering the next generation of leaders. His journey at the AFS Youth Assembly serves as a testament to the values of collaboration, diversity, and lifelong learning that we strive to instill in all our students and staff.

At Wabash City Schools, we remain committed to supporting any endeavors to become informed, engaged, and empathetic global citizens, and we look forward to witnessing the positive impact of Lucas's experiences on our school community and beyond.


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