Mr. Young Wins Grant
Berkeley High School has a distinguished faculty history, bringing talent and distinct teaching styles to the school for years. However, one faculty member stands out from this celebrated group. Chris Young, BHS Director of Student Activities, is a faculty member of the students and for the students, in every way possible. Young was recently honored as one of twelve teachers across the country who have received a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching. Young will be rewarded the opportunity to conduct a fully funded six-month research project of his design in Argentina, and is expecting to leave March 2013 and return August of that year.
Young’s proposed re-search project is centered on youth learning and leadership in a guided community setting.
“I see it as critical in educating young people today that they grow up with the ability to take action to change [and] solve problems,” stated Young. “Otherwise the powerful people that control our systems will continue in a direction that will lead to more conflict and problems, as resources dwindle and the health of our planet and humanity grows increasingly poor.”
Young, previously a social science educator at BHS, has an impressive record of giving his all to BHS students. While still in his social science teaching career, Young was one of the head teachers who designed and implemented Berkeley International High School (BIHS) at BHS. He was also BIHS’s first lead teacher in the 2006-07 school year. In 2008, Young ventured to Costa Rica to conduct unofficial research on peace education. In addition, Young aided the development and creation of a joint microfinance forest conservation project in Uganda. It wasn’t until 2009 that Young returned to BHS as the amazing student resource he is today.
However, Young’s ambitions as a teacher and leader go beyond the classroom.
“Ultimately my goal and sense of purpose as an educator and a social change leader is based in the belief that I can help people during my life to take the drastic actions we need to make the world more peaceful and sustainable for all people,” he said. “Simply voting for Republicans or Democrats no longer works. Urgent environmental and social issues require people to start actively organizing and expressing true democratic power.”
With the intent of returning to BHS, Young feels that the insight he will gain in Argentina will greatly benefit the BHS community and teach students how to actively demonstrate leadership.
“It is your generation, teenagers today,” relayed Young in his parting remarks, “that will need to lead us towards a more peaceful and sustainable future or unprecedented suffering for the Earth and humanity.”