Achieving the IB Diploma is no easy task. This year, amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, Lourdes Rodriguez ,Forum Academy Class of 2018, received her diploma. She shares this unforgettable experience and her plans for the future.
Lourdes remembers first meeting Profesora Elvia just days before graduating from Centro Educativo La Venta. Profesora Elvia was there to lead an induction, providing some background information about Forum Academy. She was excited at the prospect of traveling from her hometown of Jaguito in La Pintada and staying at the academy. “I thought it was a marvelous opportunity to keep studying, I was curious to learn about the IB because back then I knew very little about it.”
The IB was a world apart for Lourdes “it was an unforgettable experience that changed my mentality completely. The IB helped me see the world from different perspectives, develop critical thinking, and self-reflection. These were my inspiration to keep learning, to understand the things happening around me, respect other people’s ideas, and be empathetic with them. Even looking at different ways of learning, evaluating our own learning, and striving to contribute to a better world.
Lourdes’s experience is further evidence of the advantages provided by the IB. Supported by a nurturing environment and academic resources, she was able to cultivate her curiosity and continue learning. The IB requires students to do this, to keep learning, so that as Lourdes puts it “we aren’t living in a bubble, problems aren’t going to solve themselves. We learning that we have the potential to have a positive influence.” Providing the IB program not only gave these students opportunities to acquire deeper understanding and knowledge, but it was also instrumental in modeling and nurturing values like self-direction allowing them to accomplish their goals.
This year, pandemic and all, Lourdes obtained her IB diploma. “I feel like I have a valuable learning tool, that gives me the capacity to impact the world in a positive way. Furthermore, I can make decisions based on my understanding and investigating, using what I learning through the IB and at Forum Academy.
Her favorite part of completing the IB diploma was finishing the internal assessment because she enjoyed the research. Even though students often regard this as the most challenging part of the diploma program. It was here, she says, that she was able to put her critical thinking to work. “Another of my favorite things was coexisting with all my classmates during the three years I was at the academy. I was able to learn from each of them and they were a fundamental part of my journey to obtaining the IB diploma. Forum Academy becomes your family and inspiration. Teaching you to value the opportunities life gives you and to fight to achieve your goals. As difficult as it may seem to achieve them, as well as be a global citizen, because you realize that every person is valuable, no matter where they are from. Everyone can contribute to making a positive change in the world.
Lourdes is currently studying at the Universidad Tecnologica de Panama, to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Executive Communication. In the future, she hopes to study abroad and would like to work as a flight attendant. “After that, I would like to build my own company to be able to help other people in need, especially in education in my country, because this is the most effective way to change the world.
Forum Foundation is committed to supporting exceptional students like Lourdes so that they can achieve their goals and have a positive impact on their communities. Helping make change sustainable.