L-R: Sherry Zhang and Stella Zhang (speaking) at the Lunar New Year morning tea.
Abbotsleigh is a diverse community. It's a community that seeks to care for the individuals within her boundaries; a community that seeks to empower young women.
In 2015 a group of international students expressed the desire to formalise the support and encouragement they had been giving to each other.
This group which started with five key Senior School 'English as A Second-Language' students eating lunch together has become a vibrant group with around 20 members. We decided to call this group EMBRACE GLOBAL.
EMBRACE GLOBAL is a group for international students or students whose families live globally, meeting one lunchtime a cycle to discuss global issues, play games and encourage one another.
Our founding leader Alex Zhao (DUX 2015) expressed the key aim of the group. She labels the dynamic of mentorship as “to be like her”.
“Indeed, 'To be like her' is what I consider as a very important spirit of our group. Here 'her' can be one person, or a group of people. We hope that everyone in the group can understand, assist and encourage each other, not only in academic life, but also inspiring others to actively participate in school activities, pursue passion with courage and become a role model for others. This is why we chose ‘dandelion’ as our symbol. It is a little flower that embodies both the beauty of community and the incredible strength and determination of every individual. I believe that the group is also a platform for every one of us to develop leadership skills and contribute to our school and community."
Since arriving in Australia in 2015 Sherry Zhang and Stella Zhang have been members of EMBRACE GLOBAL. Recently, when they spoke at the Lunar New Year Parent morning tea they told their stories of how EMBRACE GLOBAL had helped become a part of our community.
Sherry said “I joined Abbotsleigh in term three of Year 10, which gives me less chance to make new friends at that time. Speaking a language which I was not familiar with in a completely new environment was difficult and painful, things like misunderstanding people or being unable to express myself happened a lot. I couldn’t get used to it at all in the first few weeks, until I know Embrace Global from Stella. Although Embrace Global was a new activity at that time, but I saw it as my saviour. Previous Year 12 students used their best encouragement and endless patience to show me the way, by sharing their own experience to tell us that they could feel what we were feeling. They said: 'We know how hard it Is, so we decided to set up this community to help more students like us.' Now we are here to share this warm community to you, we hope that in the future it can help more students with different backgrounds, who needs support from us.”
EMBRACE GLOBAL is very proud of its members, its Year 12 leaders and its graduates. Their confidence, their leadership skills and academic success can be credited, in part, to the passion and encouragement they have gained from each other.
If you have any questions you are more than welcome to send me an email.