Sometimes, coming from a small island nation like Dominica can open doors and new opportunities on a global scale. This year I was selected to represent Dominica at the United World College in New Mexico, USA ( For the first time, the islands of the Eastern Caribbean were part of the UWC Barbados National Selection Committee process. This made it possible for a Dominican student to receive this scholarship to study global affairs, international issues, and the arts with a diverse group of young people coming from over 150 different countries.

UWC (United World Colleges) is a global education movement that makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. There are 18 UWC campuses around the world, for the final two years of secondary school. The competition to get into one of these schools is extensive. It is not only about good marks. UWC is more interested in students who care deeply about the big problems the world faces, and who want to make a positive change and be active in their world. Only a small number of students from each country are accepted per year, so I had a very unique opportunity coming from the Nature Island in the Eastern Caribbean.

I have to thank Dominica, my previous school Orion Academy and my teachers for giving me the opportunity to start an environmental club and to organize Dominica's First Climate Strike in Dominica. I also must thank the Dominica Youth Environment Organization. Today, I sit in a class with so many new ideas and perspectives from all over the world. This is such a wonderful opportunity to learn and bring all these new ideas back home.

As we celebrate Dominica's 42nd Year of Independence on November 3rd, we as youth know that we are in an environmental and social crisis. We know we need new ideas and new ways of being in order to create a better future. Dominica's 2020 Independence theme is "Embracing New Opportunities". As Dominicans we can help to bring forward the solutions and lead the way to an independent, resilient green future.

It amazes me how envious students from other parts of the word are of our Nature Isle, with our abundant natural resources, that many have never seen before. By learning alongside students from cultures around the world, I can see how much I have to learn. I am so thankful for the opportunity to bring all this home to Dominica! By: Sahara Sky (age 16)