I’m Vanshika, a 17-year-old, doing the IB diploma program from Surat, India. Doing IB gave me a variety of perspectives on life and certain aspects that I needed to fix. I love playing football and the guitar. Along with those, I also thoroughly enjoy participating in MUNs and debates. I enjoy traveling to new places and learning about new cultures. I am currently learning Spanish and I wish to become proficient in it since I love learning new languages and I desire to become a multi-linguist. I believe that we should have the right to do whatever we desire to do in life but before that, we must fulfill our duties to our families, peers, and the society. Talking about society, it brings us to the issues that it faces and poverty in my country is an issue that requires utmost attention. I want to work hard and become an economist to help and cater to solutions to eradicate poverty. Space and everything about it really intrigue me and has inspired me to take physics as a subject. Thus I would love to learn more about time travel and overlaps. I have also always wanted to skydive but I have never received the opportunity to do so. Given the chance I would love to spend a week, stranded alone on an island since I believe that it’s the best way to learn about yourself and knowing yourself is essential to being human.
The IB Diploma CAS program has enormously changed my outlook on what impact the smallest of activities could have on the people around me. When I think of the CAS activities that I have performed, the first thing, that comes to my mind is an intra-city cycling even that I, along with 2 classmates, had organized named ‘Ride With Pride’. We brought together the citizens of Surat to work towards a healthier lifestyle and promote cycling as a recreative and health beneficial sport. Calling together such a large number of people in the city to join us at a given location, date and time, coming up with creative marketing ideas to convince them to take a break from their schedules, to join us to serve the environment that we live in and promote cycling as a part of that action was a great feat and its accomplishment felt impressive. CAS has helped me develop a socio-cultural understanding and my duty towards the environment that I live in. It has also helped me enhance a certain skill set by constantly encouraging me to think and work creatively and perform actions that would benefit me along with my surroundings. Creativity as a component has inspired me to be more open-minded and welcoming to ideas and theories and the application of these has also made me approach some ideas with an uncertainty of their result and yet help me come up with innovative ways to go about daily things with to maximize that good that comes out of it. Action as the second component helped me enhance my communicative skills with MUN’s and debates and thus has helped me widen my horizons as a thinker and an inquirer. It has also taught me how to be balanced in everything I do since I was presented with many situations that required a decision to be made. I might not have made those decisions right at that point but at a later stage, when I sat to reflect on how the issue was handled, I believe that I learned a balanced way of evaluating situations which will help me later. And it was this thought that inspired my service activities. I began to realize the consequences of certain actions on the others in the society, eg. dumping garbage on the road. It made me express compassion for the less fortunate, respect for the ones that help us and a certain sense of responsibility towards the environment. Overall, CAS helped me become more knowledgeable and understanding about me and my surroundings. Through these activities, I learned that certain selfish actions might benefit us in the short-term but in the long-term, being someone who is empathetic and provides for the greater good is beneficial for everyone and requires little effort. I learned that leadership is an essential characteristic and making use of that ability helped me gain a greater insight on teamwork. I conditioned myself to always help someone in need as service is the greatest cause. Over the time, various CAS activities like playing football, participating in MUN’s as the Executive Board and many others helped me help people learn and share my skills with them. This way, I learned how to perform my duties better and they gained knowledge. However, there were always certain setbacks that required to be dealt with, with a calm mind. When the planning process in an event I was organizing hit a snitch, I asked a colleague to help me out with a dealer who threatened to not provide us with the supplies we needed. The full payment had been made and hence, this colleague negotiated with the dealer on my behalf to help continue the event. This effort on his part contributed greatly to the event and both of us learned a great deal about teamwork and efforts through this. The learning outcome regarding undertaking new challenges seemed to be one of the most difficult to achieve since it always involves unfamiliar territory and dealing with new things and people. Being an extrovert, I did not face many difficulties in dealing with new people, however, exploring something that I did not excel at provided a bit of a struggle. However, in the end, I was successfully able to perform on the stage without faltering or making any mistakes. My overall exquisite experience with CAS makes me want more people to be introduced to it and provide a helping hand in development, evolution, and conservation of our earth.
|Proposed Activities||Description of the activity||Components (C/A/S)||Duration with start date and end date||Goals||Learning Outcomes||location||Started/ completed|
|Playing Football (long term)||Playing two matches and winning the districts to participate in states. Practising my game so that I can improve my midfield skills. Timing of this camp has been 7:30 to 9am and we prepaired for a district level competition||Activity||Start date- 10-Jul-15 End date- 17-Jul-15||1) To improve my midfield skills and dribbling.
2) I want to get selected and go for the SGFI nationals again.
|1) I could identify my own strength in the defence. 2) The activity helped me developmy defence skills. 3) It helped me be commited and dedicated to the practice. 4) It helped me work in a team. 5) Being ethical by not playing an unfair game.||In School||Completed|
|learning Spanish (long term)||Learning a foreign language to enhance my peoples skills, Spanish being the 2nd most widely spoken language worldwide.||Creativity||Start date- 23-Apr-15||1) To be able to conversate fluently in Spanish||1) Developing my language skills
2)Learning a globally recognised language besides English
|Out of school||Completed|
|Literacy (short term)||Teaching basic verbal English to the support staff in my location.||Creativity, Activity, Service||Start date: 1-Aug-15
End date: 10-March-16
|1) To explain the support staff of the benefits of education.
2) Teach them the alphabet and basic english words that will help them communicate better.
|L1 – Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth, L2 – Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken developing new skills, L3- initiate and plan a CAS experience, L4-commitment to and perseverance, L5-. Demonstrate skills and benefits of working collaboratively, L6-engagement with issues of global significance||Out of school||Completed|
|Maths Science Trivia (Long Term)||Preparing, organising and conducting the event. Preparing questions for the preliminary and the final round. Making the event a roaring success by making it entertaining for the participants and the audience. Using new and innovative ideas to make the event more intriguing rather than the usual hackneyed.||Activity||Start date:
|1. Making the event Successful
2. learning to work well with a team
3. Enhancing Public Speaking Skills
4. Taught me how to think outside the Box
|Team Duathlon (Short Term)||Participating in the the event organised by Life Cycling Green to create awareness about the benefits of cycling and jogging.||Activity||Start date:
|1) To be able to complete a distance of 5 km without stopping. 2) Developing stamina
3) Continue jogging every morning even after the activity is completed.
|Out of school||Completed|
|A day with the orphan Children||Spending the day with them when they come to our school. Planning some fun activities and making them have a great time. Also making new friends and giving them more confidence to develop themselves.||Creativity, Activity, Service||Start date:
|1. Learning how to work with people from different backgrounds.
2. Making the Children feel more like a part of the world.
3. Undertaking a new challenge and making it fun
|Ride With Pride Against Breast Cancer||Bringing together the city of Surat on their cycles to create awareness about breast cancer.||Creativity, Activity, Service||Start date: 25-Jan-16
End date: 6-March-16
|1. To successfully organise the event on the 6th of March.
2. To bring about a change in the thinking of people and promote environmental friendly ways of transport.
3. To learn and experience initiating and organising the project to its maximum potential.
|Out of school||Completed|
|FSMUN 2.0||A part of the Executive board at FSMUN 2.0. Encouraging delegates to debate better and guiding them towards a more focussed and high quality discussion of the agenda.||Creativity, Activity, Service||End date: 28-Nov-15||1) Enabling delegates to learn how to MUN
2) Enhancing public speaking skills.
3) Learning about global issues requiring immediate attention.
|L1 – Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth, L2 – Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken developing new skills, L3- initiate and plan a CAS experience, L4-commitment to and perseverance, L5-. Demonstrate skills and benefits of working collaboratively, L6-engagement with issues of global significance, L7-Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions||In School||Completed|
|SSP||A member of the house in a simulation of the parliament of India. Proposing ideas and solutions for a sustainable environment while simultaneously trying to get our party elected.||Creativity, Activity, Service||End date: 13-Nov-16||1) Enhancing public speaking skills.
2) Developing critical thinking and reasoning skills
|L1 – Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth, L2 – Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken developing new skills, L3- initiate and plan a CAS experience, L4-commitment to and perseverance, L5-. Demonstrate skills and benefits of working collaboratively, L6-engagement with issues of global significance, L7-Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions||Out of school|
|learning guitar (long term)||Developing my guitar playing skills by attending the AS class. An initiative taken up by my school.||Creativity||1) To be able to play the guitar.
2) To take part in an inter school Band competition
|1. Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth.2. Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process.3. Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences.||In School||Completed|
Surat Student Parliament was an event organized as a simulation of the parliament of India where members of the house belonged to various parties and forums. A full day of debating and working on a campaign to make individual parties win. I participated as a member of the house as a part of the sustainable development forum.
- I learned that one of my weakness was that if I felt like I could lead a group of people, I wouldn’t listen to the opinions of the rest of the group and now that I’m aware of it, I can work to be more cooperative and thus knowing my weaknesses will help me for better in the future.
- One of the challenges I faced was a teammate who was quite stubborn and made it difficult for everyone to deal with. There was a lack of communication with him, however, after some ice breaking, we were able to get through to him and understand why he was detached. Thereafter, we didn’t face any issues.
- The formal proceedings of a parliament were followed and thus I organized and presented myself formally. Planning out and executing our party’s agenda required a leader and I volunteered to initiate that. I learned that I could be an effective leader and guide people well. I also learned that it is important to know how to plan and initiate since it gives us clarity into what we exactly want.
- We were required to perform extensive research on the topics provided to us and therefore it required commitment and many working hours to be spent. However, since the given topic intrigued me, I enjoyed the research and thus committing was not an issue.
- An essential aspect of this event was to make our party win and thus, as a MOH, I had to work collaboratively along with the campaign managers and the media managers to build the required reputation for the campaign and gain votes of the members of the parliament. I learned that while working collaboratively, it is essential to hear and understand everyone’s opinions and cater equally to everyone in the team. This ultimately leads to better results for a team.
- The topic we debated upon was the best method to achieve a sustainable development without harming the economy. A matter which requires immediate attention for a healthier and safer future. And thus discussion and the imposition of such ideas in the minds of today’s youth would cater to an issue of global importance and thus I now feel like a more responsible citizen of not only my country but also the world as I am more aware.
- The ethical issues involved with this activity were primarily on unbiased debating and treating all my fellow party members as equals. After this activity, I feel like I have learned a lot about not being partial towards an opinion and keeping an open mind.
Ride with pride was a cycling event organised to create and spread awareness about breast cancer. The planning of the event began on 25th of Jan when we came up with the idea of organising a cycling event for our CAS project. The event catered to all the three strands of CAS i.e. creativity was where we organised a cycling rally for a cause that had never been done before. The activity was in the sports cycling and service was looked at since the primary purpose of the event was to cater to creating awareness about the detection and prevention of breast cancer. The initial target for the event were students from various schools however as we discussed our idea with our parents and our mentors, they guided us to help make the event open for all. This rally was inspired by Pinkathon. Since it was a rally to create awareness about breast cancer, we chose a date near women’s day which was on the 8th of march. 6th of March was the ideal date since it was a Sunday and it marked the beginning of the woman’s week. This project not only helped us accomplish all the learning outcomes of CAS but also gave us immense insight into people from different backgrounds, what kind of problems they face and gave us a lot of experience.
Learning outcome 1: Working with each other and coordinating all day long got us extremely weary of each other. We lost our temper very often at each other and that led to many misunderstandings. This helped us realise our lack of patience and coping with each other’s spontaneous decisions became easier once we became aware of it. It was important for us to know our weaknesses because it was the realisation that helped us work better as a team. We realised that when there was so much work to be done, not everything could be discussed before any action was taken and hence it helped us save time and enabled us to work efficiently.
Learning outcome 2: The most challenging part about organising this event was for us to actually realise its purpose. There were many issues that put up difficulties but the most important one was to not deviate from our motive. None of us had any prior experience at organising an event at this scale and one of our major problems was trying to get our message through to as many people as possible to join us in our cause. We overcame this by not losing out on hope and constantly pushing ourselves to figure out various ways through which we could publicise this event. The lessons we learnt were to not delay any work for later and that there are always end moment emergencies that one needs to be prepared for later. This challenge not only gave us a better sense of organisation and time management but also enabled us to develop as people and helped us discover new skills as well. Being students of Business Management, we incorporated the classroom knowledge into the planning and organisation which led us to make smarter decisions and helped us with better execution.
Learning outcome 3: Throughout the planning stage, it was very difficult to manage between planning and school but since I was usually able to manage time well, it did not prove to be very tedious. Initiation was not very difficult because we started out with a small idea but as the planning progressed, the idea evolved and then the planning became difficult because none of us was exactly clear on the idea since our point of views were different and constantly changing with each new development in the plan. Initiating and planning anything in the future will be much easier now that we have experience with coordination and organisation. It is important to know how to plan and initiate activities because it teaches one leadership which is always helpful.
Learning outcome 4: The amount of hard work that was required on a daily basis was one thing that troubled us a lot. We had to set dates for the finalisation of some prospects and meeting those required a lot of perseverance and commitment. Initially, it felt exhausting but gradually we realised how essential it was to be regular and punctual. Showing perseverance and commitment was essential because we had to work and coordinate with people outside and make sure that they were committed to the work we gave them.
Learning outcome 5: Working with others is generally easy for me because I do not feel shy about expressing my opinions. Hence while working towards this activity, my friends and I benefitted out of the team work not only for the project but individually too. Working in a team helped reduce our workload and the fact that the team understood each other’s stress proved to be very helpful. There were occasions where we had to coordinate with someone who was extremely irregular and would not pick up the phone and our work would get stuck but we had no choice but to put up with it. Working collaboratively along with my co-organisers was important for all the planning to be done on time and of adequate quality. Setting up appointments and creating awareness was something which would be impossible for an individual to do and hence teamwork and trust seemed to be very crucial for the event.
Learning outcome 6: The issue of global importance tat we undertook was creating awareness about breast cancer. This issue is globally important because of every year, almost 5 lakh women die of breast cancer due to untimely detection and hence it is an issue of extreme global importance. Knowing about global issue make us more aware of what’s going on in our surrounding and makes us knowledgeable and cautious. Creating awareness about this issue at such a huge scale gave me immense happiness and satisfaction and helped me evolve as a better person and do my bit as a human.
Learning outcome 7: Initially, despite us starting out with just the motive of organising a CAS project, along with the way, we became aware of the true purpose of this project, which was for creating awareness. There were times when we deviated and it took a motivational talk or two by our parents to put us back on track. The ethics involved with this activity were to, along with the cyclists, create a healthier and safer environment and do what we committed. The other ethics involved was to provide financial support for patients with breast cancer who could not afford the treatment. Doing this activity gave me a deeper insight into the conditions that a lot of the people who couldn’t afford treatment were subjected to and doing this activity and becoming a part of the change made me feel very content.
The football camps started with the advent of the new academic year. The team had already been informed of the upcoming district tournament however, most of the players were irregular with their attendance. Since it was a new team and field for me, it took me some time to adjust and coordinate with my new team. During the morning training sessions, when I cribbed about people not turning up for practices, I realised that circumstances will hardly ever adjust themselves according to my needs and that to work in a team, we needed to not just criticise but to listen and learn to adjust according to everyone’s requirements. Meanwhile, the real problem was that the position that I originally played already had players in place and that there was another position that required
During the morning training sessions, when I cribbed about people not turning up for practices, I realised that circumstances will hardly ever adjust themselves according to my needs and that to work in a team, we needed to not just criticise but to listen and learn to adjust according to everyone’s requirements. Meanwhile, the real problem was that the position that I originally played already had players in place and that there was another position that required to be filled. Not wanting to mess up the team’s general rhythm, I volunteered to play at a position I had never played before. I was assigned to play as the main defence. The first task was to learn to coordinate with everyone on the team. I realised that I had to develop overall as a player and not only brush up my football skills. The position came with a lot of responsibility that I had to undertake.
Guiding the team to ideal locations take shots from was one of those. I learnt many better ways of coordination with the team and being a defender only helped me to enhance my football skills. During the days following up to the state tournament, the 11th Grade along with the rest of the team made it a point to come regularly for the morning training sessions no matter what. There were times when some of us weren’t allowed to board the early bus and other times when there was too much workload however we overcame all those challenges together as a team. The best part of working collaboratively was that all the required permissions were obtained easily when the entire team went to the coordinators as one voice.
Working with the team also taught us how to be selfless, courageous and to not get disheartened on small losses. Playing football also made me realise the code of conduct I need to maintain at a personal level. It taught me the kind of discipline that is required to a play a sport ethically. However, we came across a dilemma when we were faced by a team of very young girls playing for U-17. We didn’t know whether we were supposed to play an easy game or play tough to secure our positions for the state championship. The entire team unanimously decided to go with their gut and play at a certain level that the opponent team would benefit out of the match however not play rough at all because we realised that winning by defeating and probably injuring those little girls wouldn’t be winning at all. We played ethically and got selected for the state tournament and stood as runners up there.
This event was an initiative by our school where our Math and Science teachers gave us various responsibilities and helped us conduct the event for Grade 9 & 10. The event included a preliminary round and a final round. The final round consisted of a complete presentation showing all the distinct rounds.
The number of questions that had to be made for Mathematics and Science was appalling. As the event coordinators and the hosts, we had tons of responsibilities. I’d anticipated that making all the questions would be the toughest part, but we figured out that if everyone put in the required amount of hard work, there would be no problem. However, making questions turned out to be the least of our worries. There was an extreme lack of coordination between us, and no one was ready to give up time for the event.
We kept procrastinating, and the result was that just two days before the trivia, the questions were in an abysmal condition. There were repetitive questions, and everything was extremely unorganised. But then final two days of hard work and dedication helped us make the event a great success. Working with this team also made us realise that while organising events such like these, things don’t often go the way we want them to, however, it also taught us the importance of other people’s opinion over ours and how our personal thoughts can be relatively narrow and a 2nd perspective can broaden our points of view and help us make and event better and more enjoyable.
The trivia proved to be an enormous challenge. The audience was uncontrollable, but the event went on smoothly in the end. Working for the event in the last minute taught me how to handle last minute crisis like taking preventive measures for the audience to keep them from prompting and keeping an extra stopwatch if the first one was too stop woking at the end moment. It also taught me how to function well under stressful conditions with a team.
Not being partial towards people belonging to my house or my friends was the ethical consideration I kept in mind throughout I did this by not giving them easier questions or more time to answer than the rest. This event helped me take a step forward in getting over my fear of stage speaking. Conducting the event along with my team gave me a feeling of triumph and its success was heartfelt. After the event, the audience and teachers appreciated our efforts. Overall, I’m glad the I got such a great opportunity to organize this event and was able to make it entertaining and enjoyable.
Charlie’s Help age came to our school to spend a day with us. We planned various fun and exciting activities for them. Their trip to our school was planned by Krishna Ma’am and she helped make the day very interactive for them and us. There were 36 children aged between 3 and 17. Their arrival had been delayed by one and a half hour, which put us largely behind schedule. This made us reduce the time required for some activities and we had to cut down on some. Each one of them was talented in their own unique way. Not even once did we see a slight bit of despair when they met us and saw how we studied. Rather they were delighted to be there and very enthusiastic to perform whatever we had planned for them.
We made some very great friends in that little time we had and enjoyed thoroughly. Besides the delay, the entire day went as planned. That day made me realise the benefits of the privileges I receive every day and the love care and affection provided by my parents. These children were extremely talented and if given a stage appropriate enough to showcase it, they would beat all expectations. We learnt how people from different backgrounds perceive the meaning of various situations in different ways and react differently. In all, the day spent with and for them was brilliant and enlightened me in different ways and I’m looking forward to the next time we get an opportunity to meet them. We developed new skills by working collaboratively with the students from Charlie’s help age. We did this by not only adhering to what we had planned for them but also asking them as to what they wanted to do. We learnt a lot from the children that day when some of them taught us a new way to communicate that is by signs. They made us realise how we must respect, love and treat with care everything we have. We also exhibited perseverance and commitment to the service by coming up with interesting ideas to make their visit to our school as memorable as possible and giving in our best to help our teachers out. We also undertook a new challenge as
We also exhibited perseverance and commitment to the service by coming up with interesting ideas to make their visit to our school as memorable as possible and giving in our best to help our teachers out. We also undertook a new challenge as difference in the cultural background made it a little difficult for interaction initially however we still managed to form a great bond with them. We maintained an ethical outlook towards the visit by not delaying and treating them as equal to us.
We also undertook a new challenge as a difference in the cultural background made it a little difficult for interaction initially, however, we still managed to form a great bonding with them. We maintained an ethical outlook towards the visit by not delaying and treating them as equal to us.
The event consisted of 2 members for each team. One partner had to run 5 kilometers and the other had to cycle 10 kilometers. I previously had the practice of running only 2 kilometers at a stretch so completing 5 kilometers seemed like a huge task but I decided to start practicing every morning and evening. Initially, it was very difficult to wake up early in the morning and then go running. I would feel extremely sleepy at school in the day. Running in the evening also proved to be a difficult idea since the roads would be extremely crowded and it would be difficult to complete the distance without breaks.
After seven weeks of pushing myself to my limits, I managed to practice along with my partner and completed the Duathlon. It was a feeling of immense pride and satisfaction. However, my achievement was not the one that was the most satisfactory. It was my parents who on being pushed hard completed the duathlon and overcame the limits age sets.
I learned to work collaboratively with a team since I had to be on time for my training practices with my companions and also followed the rules they abide by which were to run at the decided pace and to give the full amount of time required. I attended all practice sessions regularly and took responsibility for any problems that arose.
Since a pollution free world is what the entire globe is aiming for and by participating in an event such as this one, we come one step closer to creating more awareness of the impending disaster to earth.
I had always wanted to learn a foreign language, and this was the ideal opportunity for me. Learning Spanish has made me more aware of the cultures of the people in Spain and also has opened up my mind to issues of global concern such as the beautiful cultures of Latin America and Spain getting wiped out. Initially, I thought that it wouldn’t be that difficult to learn the language since the script of Spanish is the same as for English, which is the Roman script but once I started learning it, I realized how different it is. Learning the endless list of verbs and their conjugations was extremely tiring but the most challenging part was yet to come. The culture prevailing in Latin America believes in speaking very fast so when I tried to hear audios; it was tough to understand whatever was being said. However, eventually, I was able to comprehend and speak quite well.
Learning the language made me feel like more of a global citizen, as I didn’t feel the confinement to the same languages I have always been taught. Initially, my tutor kept pushing me to translate only texts, and often I didn’t understand what to do; so along with a friend, I suggested our instructor to plan fun sessions like watching Spanish plays and have quizzes to test our understanding. Having something fun and interesting to do while learning so much developed my interest in the language to another level. Learning a new language required a lot of time and dedication but the practical, intellectual and aspirational benefits it offered felt worth. I believe that by acquiring skills of a language so widely spoken, my perceptions of global situations has widened and has encouraged me not to stay confined to the clutches of my thought process and explore wider horizons.