Recent Student-Led Initiatives for I-HELP Liberia

By: Sophia Li Email:|

The I-HELP Liberia high school organization has had many updates regarding its activities. For one, Hunter College High School has branched out its efforts to other high school student leaders from across the city. On August 12th, 2018 they had the first official meeting of the I-HELP Liberia New York City High School Board.

Composed of representatives from Hunter College High School (Sophia Li–founder, Helen Lyons, Victoria Li), Stuyvesant High School (Vivien Jiang, Tiffany Ho), Bronx Science High School (Mayesha Soshi), and Brooklyn Technical High School (Alicia Choi, Amy Zou), the group strives to create a network of student collaborators across the city to expand I-HELP Liberia’s impact.

They aim to organize various fundraising events and forums to raise awareness regarding the education system in Liberia. Furthermore, the I-HELP Liberia Club at Hunter College High School has a new advisor, Ms. Tiffani Kolozian. in college, Ms. Kolozian worked in an after-school program called the Bridge Golf Foundation, where she created a curriculum linking physics and golf and volunteered as a STEM instructor to try to engage, connect and inspire her students to pursue those subjects.

Ms. Kolozian’s volunteer work extended as far as teaching students in Fiji and Ghana through a program called IVHQ (International Volunteer HQ). In Fiji, she taught math and science to seventh graders and appreciated how respectful and thankful the students were toward their teachers.

In Ghana, she taught fourth-grade students how to play American games such as hangman and listened to her students sing their favorite songs. She had a wonderful opportunity to interact with children in Ghana and learned various management and instructing strategies from other teachers.

Ms. Kolozian’s overseas experiences have helped her in her current teaching position here at Hunter. She said, “Traveling to Ghana helped me develop as a teacher and I look forward to seeing what I have to learn from the educators and students in the Liberian community.”

Ms. Kolozian feels enthusiastic about working with I-HELP Liberia. She said, “I interested in participating in the I-HELP Liberia Project after I heard about the work they are doing during a presentation at last year’s Community Day at Hunter College High School. I was excited to hear from Liberian students over Skype about their school and home lives.”

She adds, “I feel passionate that a thorough and engaging science education for all is the way to supporting a new generation of innovators and leaders, who can help solve the problems of the future. I think I-HELP Liberia especially does this by connecting teachers and students and being a pathway for them to share resources and ideas about science education.”

She will work closely with the students and volunteers over the course of this year: “I feel excited and privileged to be the advisor for I-HELP Liberia at Hunter College High School. I am amazed at the work our students here have done so far and I hope to support all of the goals they have for this project.”

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