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The CAS Trips Experience was extremely profound and internally altering for me personally. During the 2 day virtual conference, I was able to develop and strengthen my conversational skills, but also my collaborative skills. I enjoyed working, sharing, and taking ideas and suggestions with students from across the world.

I realized that we actually all have such a variety of ideas and different ways of thinking about the same idea. Personally one of my weaknesses is public speaking and taking charge, but the breakout rooms and working in groups allowed me to take charge right from the start, when others did not rise to the occasion. I also enjoyed listening to other students’ ideas and how they view solutions to a similar problem, and how different countries are tackling the problem of climate change.
I had the honor of being the timekeeper and helping push creative ideas. As a result, I feel better equipped to initiate and lead a group in the future. The facilitators were extremely kind, helpful, motivational, and provided great feedback on our hackathon project. The foundation to help support this year, AASD, was really interesting to me, and I found their goals and purpose to strike a key within my own personal goals. Helping people in impoverished conditions is something that is close to me and my religion, which promotes love and care for the poor and needy.
Additionally, just the opportunity to brainstorm and come up with creative ways to help an actual organization was just amazing and intriguing for me personally. I have never had the opportunity to first-hand help an organization that is struggling during the pandemic and with the current environmental conditions. This has definitely changed my outlook on just what I as a teenager am capable of achieving and coming up with.
I also realized that other teenagers from across the world live in different conditions than me for instance in the US, but we also experience many of the same challenges, which allowed us all to better understand each other and bond in the hackathon.
The speakers included on Day 1 of the conference, gave me a better understanding of Climate Change and the effects it is having on our planet. Some of the speakers also brought up some ideas that initially went against my beliefs, but showed me that the climate problem can be tackled and viewed in a plethora of ways, and no one is more right than another.
Our group really focused on the current pandemic and the effects of it on the AASD, specifically, but in turn it helped spark ideas in me of how COVID-19 has affected everyone, and everyone needs help. In the end, I came into this conference wanting to make a change, no matter how small, and I feel accomplished.
I learned a lot, collaborated with others from around the world, and worked my brain to be creative and help the AASD. Thanks CAS Trips for such an invigorating and reflective experience. I would definitely try this again and recommend it to others.

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