From Sept. 22 – 24, the Concordia Summit took place in New York City. Founded by alumnus Matt Swift ’05, the Summit is the largest and most inclusive nonpartisan forum alongside the United Nations General Assembly. This year the trip was underwritten by contributions to our annual giving program and Maroon & White Party, and Swift hosted St. Anne’s-Belfield School students Sam Gruber, John Mason, Katherine Perriello, and Abril Tingey-Espinosa at the Summit and for a special Sunday evening tour ahead of the event. Here, Tingey-Espinosa and Perriello reflect on their experiences.
Abril Tingey-Espinosa ‘20
Attending the Concordia Summit was an incredible experience for me. Not only were we able to attend the conference and learn more about current projects in place working to better our world, but we were also able to meet and ask questions to many of the leaders in our world today. I particularly enjoyed listening to the Venezulean interim government counsel’s speech and later meeting and asking questions to Venezulean human rights activist Lilian Tintori. While I was speaking to her, I was also able to meet a former president of Bolivia, Jorge Quiroga. These interactions were very meaningful to me because of the current situation in my birth country of Bolivia. Bolivia has found itself in the place of an early Venezuela so it was amazing to learn of the current solutions that the leaders working on the conflict are coming up with and putting into place. Another highlight from the conference was the opening ceremony in which six NYU students, from six different countries around the world, were asked questions about the state of their countries as well as their opinions on the role of the U.S. in their countries. The whole experience was absolutely incredible and I encourage every student to apply.
Katherine Perriello ‘21
Going to the Concordia Summit was an amazing opportunity for me. It was incredible to be among people that have contributed so much to our global community. The Concordia Summit featured leaders from around the world that had many different opinions and experiences. One of the most interesting talks that I listened to were the strategic dialogues on refugee children in Africa. This roundtable had many different African leaders as well as people who had started organizations to help refugees around the world. This was a deep dive discussion into the issues, and helped me learn about these situations around the world. The other types of discussion were shorter talks about the topics. These helped us to learn about a wide range of issues affecting the global community, as well as having us learn from a wide range of opinions. Altogether, this experience was amazing and helped me learn about international relations and meet amazing people. I urge every student to apply in the coming years for the Concordia Summit.
Pictured L-R: Mr. Brian Bartholomew, John Mason '20, Abril Tingey-Espinosa '20, Katherine Perriello '21, and Sam Gruber '20.