Isabelle (Izzie) Fortuna
Student Volunteer: Isabelle (Izzie) Fortuna
School: ISB (International School Bangkok)
Event: Ignite Change - ISLC 2012
This summer, I left Asia for the first time and spent it at Operation Smile’s annual International Student Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. I first heard about the conference from our club president, and how he loved the experience. My friend, Samantha Davin and I applied, and summer couldn’t come fast enough.
The conference was from July 30 to August 4, and took place at Georgetown University. We spent our days at the beautiful campus with students from all over the world of different ages, backgrounds and experiences. We took part in team building exercises that improved our communication skills and challenged our creativity, and explored D.C. We had an ‘international party’ where we celebrated the diversity of cultures present and raised money by selling t-shirts and items from our countries or states, as well as a final party and a team-games day.
The most memorable part of my very first ISLC experience was the opportunity to listen to a number of speeches and presentations by remarkable people who had me laughing one moment and crying the next. Their passion to strive to serve using their talents was awe-inspiring, and reminded me to always think about my purpose in the world, and how we can make a difference. I also loved how it was so easy to meet new people, and connect immediately even if we came from completely different parts of the world. At ISLC, everyone is united by his or her passion to help children all over the world, through Operation Smile, and we celebrate this.
I can’t wait for this year’s conference in Norfolk, Virginia, and I encourage all those who love Operation Smile to apply; this conference truly ignited change in my life.