High school student Sarah Carr will read Psychological and Behavioural Science at Cambridge University from October 2022. She is involved in a number of projects that empower young people to create change with regard to both the education system and the environment.
During the pandemic, Sarah acted as a Youth Ambassador for the Varkey Foundation’s ‘Class of Covid’ project. She collaborated with peers and progressive educators to develop a methodology to use Zoom to create a platform where students could reflect on the impact of Covid-19 on their education, and co-create a vision for the future education system. The initial findings from these focus groups were shared with members of the Atlantis Group of former education ministers and former heads of government.
Alongside the Class of Covid project, Sarah was involved with an initiative reviewing the education system in Bangladesh. She facilitated focus groups with Bangladeshi students, and used these as the basis for a keynote presentation to a Bangladeshi education secretary, which was designed to help use students’ insights to inform policy. Early on in the pandemic, she also helped to facilitate the first gathering of students from UK Ashoka Changemaker Schools.
She has led a number of fundraising initiatives during her time at school. She arranged a half-marathon to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Trust, and a sponsored swim to support a school in Sierra Leone. When Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique, she was shocked by the lack of attention the crisis was receiving in her community and so organised a ‘disaster fund lunch’ to raise funds and to alert her peers to the scale of the crisis. Outside of school, Sarah’s entries to the Immerse Education essay competitions have been shortlisted and recognised with scholarship awards two years running. Her 2021 essay for the John Locke Institute won third prize from over 1000 global entries.
Sarah is currently working on a project to unite young people in their efforts to tackle climate change, designing and hosting a series of ‘climate conversations’. The purpose of this project is to cross geographical and social boundaries to bring young people from schools around the world together in the spirit of climate activism. The aim is to allow students to share stories of their current climate actions, and work together on new international projects to address issues surrounding sustainability and climate change.
Sarah believes that language plays an important role in facilitating relationships between international communities. She is therefore undertaking a Teaching English as a Foreign Language qualification and has enrolled with a charity that pairs teachers with refugees to provide English language lessons.
Sarah aspires to be part of a global community of changemakers striving for a socially and environmentally sustainable society and wants to combine her knowledge of behavioural science with her passion for sustainable and healthy living to create positive social change.
If she wins the Global Student Prize, Sarah would like to work alongside experts and peers to develop an objective, evidenced based curriculum that teaches people about the impact of the food system on climate, and how to develop the cooking skills needed to follow a diet that promotes the health of people and the planet.