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Ely Prize Winner 2020

By Carlisle Brush, IV Form

Ely Prize Winner 2020

Editor’s Note: THE ELY PRIZE IN PUBLIC SPEAKING, originally given by a member of the Class of 1892 in memory of his mother, is presented to the student who gave the best speech in the Global Seminar Public Speaking Competition.

Coming from the small state of Vermont and being fortunate to have the family and friends I do, I have always felt as though I live in a bubble, guarded from the struggles and horrors that so many people go through all over, but also denied the exposure and opportunity to embrace and learn about the many diverse and beautiful cultures within the United States and around the world. When I arrived at St. Mark’s I was able to step out of my small town bubble and join a diverse community. Over the course of this TGS class and through the school year, my understanding of the world and the impact I have on it has grown exponentially. Through the people here at St. Mark’s, I have been exposed to many more cultures, backgrounds, and an overall array of diversity than I ever have before. This has helped me become a better global citizen because I now have a more educated and nuanced understanding of and appreciation for diversity and how I can impact my community both locally and globally.

Broadening my understanding of globalization has helped me to realize how humanity has evolved and will continue to evolve and how I can positively influence this change.  Globalization is the sharing of ideas, materials, culture, languages, and more due to the connections formed between people all around the world. Early on these ideas and materials got shared through trade between merchants, primarily traveling on routes such as the Silk Road. Now, globalization is sharing not only culture and ideas, but technology and knowledge, advancing society and modernizing many cultures. Some examples are forms of renewable energy, electronics, electric cars, and weapons. Through globalization, I hope to share ways to lessen our impact on global warming and educate more about poverty and hunger and the ways we can improve them locally and globally. 

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Ely Prize for Public Speaking

By Sydni Williams, IV Form

Ely Prize for Public Speaking

Editor’s Note: Sydni Williams is the recipient of the 2019 Ely Prize in Public Speaking. Originally given by a member of the Class of 1982 in honor of his mother, the Ely Prize is presented each year to the student who gives the best speech in the Global Seminar Public Speaking Competition.

In 1995, Hillary Clinton said: “Human rights are women’s rights–and women’s rights are human rights.” Two months ago, I had never heard this statement. However, as I did my research paper on violence against women, my viewpoints changed greatly. Now, I appreciate safety and opportunities, and I don’t take the minuscule, yet beautiful, parts of my life for granted.

As I started my research, the horrific and deadly crimes perpetrated against females struck me. I constantly found myself completely shocked and horrified by the information that seemed too terrible to be reality. For example, one in three women across the world is a victim of intimate partner violence. Meaning, ⅓, or 33.33%, of women in the world are assaulted by their partners. Brides in India and China may be killed by their husbands if the dowry their families are forced to pay isn’t valuable enough. All over the world, females are killed or driven to suicide for various acts that are considered shameful. More than 500,000 girls in Latin America are kidnapped, transported, and exploited through sex trafficking. Young girls are killed before they are five years old because they are deemed less valuable than baby boys. These are all facts that I didn’t know before I started doing research.

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