Journey to China Immerses Students in Politics, Government and Culture 

May 5, 2012: McKinley Technology HS Students to Participate in Model-APEC Forum at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

McKinley Technology High School students Darryl Taylor, 17, William Wallace, 17, and Malik Harleston, 16, will travel to China with five McKinley classmates for the Model Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC) Forum from May 17-27.
Photo by Fred Lewis

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College students from around the world will meet in Guangzhou, China, from May 17-27 to collaborate on policy issues affecting Asia-Pacific countries. Among the students attending the Model-Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC) Forum will be eight eager McKinley Technology High School students.

McKinley students will represent Thailand, one of the 21 member nations of the Model-APEC, in daylong working groups at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies that will research and debate everything from anti-corruption and transparency to energy solutions, internal security, food security and trade.

For Malik Harleston, a junior at McKinley Technology High School, the journey promises a motivational and inspirational challenge.

“I feel like I’ll get a lot out of it,” said Harleston, 16, who wrote two essays to qualify for the trip. “I will see kids my own age and older doing things I want to do. I feel like this will take me to a whole different level.”

Gideon Sanders, McKinley’s director of partnerships and internships, said McKinley students, the only high school-aged participants in the program, will get to interact with their peers from other countries and develop research skills that will support and expand what they’re doing in the classroom.

“This will be a more concentrated level of research,” Sanders said. “This will be a true test for all of them … and gives them the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones.”

The Model-APEC has a format that’s similar to Model UN programs, but has a specific focus on international economics and educating students from around the world on issues such as international development, business and economics and the technical and security facets of these policy issues. 

Darryl Taylor, 17, a McKinley senior, attended the conference last year in Thailand, where he learned about everything from nuclear physics to biodiversity. This time around, Taylor said he wanted to immerse himself in the culture of China.

“I met a foreign exchange student in robotics,” Taylor said. “I’ve been talking to him about what I should do and shouldn’t do in China.”

For William Wallace, 17, a senior at McKinley, the journey will support his interest in government and history and connect him to a part of the world he’s never had the chance to visit.     

“I’m looking to the whole experience – academics and culture,” said an enthusiastic Wallace. “It’s never crossed my mind I’d go to China.” 

For more information visit APEC.

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