On Saturday 23rd of April six sixth Form Students from QK were invited by the American Embassy to a talk held by President Barrack Obama. This was a special event for invited guests and young people. The students who attended;Y13 Head girl Sara, Y13 Head boy Rinor, Year 12 Students; Emilio, Mersadie, Haneen and Mohamed Abdi.
Obama, who received a standing ovation upon arrival, said the main message he intended to deliver at the meeting was that young people should “reject pessimism and cynicism, know that progress is possible and that our problems can be solved.”
The president opened with some crowd pleasers, calling Prince George — whom he had met the night before — “adorable,” and quoting William Shakespeare to say “brevity is the soul of wit.” Referring to his visit earlier that morning to the Globe Theatre, to mark the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death.
Obama was asked questions about Northern Ireland, Islamophobia, Somalia, the TTIP, and his views on leadership. More than half of the audience put their hands up at one stage or another in an attempt to speak with him. At one point he told the audience “You are standing in a moment where your capacity to shape this world is unmatched. You’ve never had better tools to make a difference.” An Important message to hear for our students who about to start the exam season and shape their futures.
A question about his legacy prompted some self-reflection and an assessment of his seven-plus years in office, though Mr. Obama said he would need a decade or so before he could look back with perspective and determine “what worked and what didn’t.”
The students were enthused about the event and all spoke of how captivating he was and how fantastic it was to be in his presence.
Rinor Plepolli wrote
It was a privilege to have such an amazing opportunity to listen to and engage with Barack Obama in a Q&A session. We all know what a powerful person he is but listening to him speak in person gave great insight at just how influential and charismatic he really is. It was interesting to hear his views on all sorts of topics such as climate change and gender issues. I think the most fascinating response he gave was to the question about his legacy. He said that when thinking about this he cannot isolate himself and think about himself, he said he views himself as a runner holding the baton trying to do the best for the next person (president) and then passes the baton onto him. This was an interesting analogy he created which I thought was quite clever and worked really well.
I was glad that QK was chosen to attend such a fantastic event and that our students represented our school so wonderfully. A great opportunity that was appreciated by all that attended.
Director of Learning Y13