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By Marija Uzunova Dang, Experiential Education Coordinator, PSYL Director

At a time when the campus is usually buoyant with enthusiasm and the anticipation of finishing exams, making the most of the time left in the academic year, graduation preparations we are also thinking ahead to this summer with all its programs on campus, and of course, our UWC shortcourse the Pearson Seminar on Youth Leadership (PSYL).

Our campus is mostly empty except for wildlife and a handful of residents and is likely to remain that way for the next few months. After much deliberation, we recently made the difficult decision to not convene PSYL in 2020, informed by the realities and most probable trajectories of the COVID-19 pandemic. PSYL requires the presence and commitment of a global community – coordinators, animators, participants, volunteers – from over 25 different countries, and it was no longer practical to continue waiting and hoping for the best. We believe this is the right decision, having remained cautiously optimistic for as long as it was possible.

So, we defer the 22nd Pearson Seminar on Youth Leadership to next summer. We look forward to once again gathering bright young people from around the world to connect, organize, and mobilize towards what is good, just, and important.

Our team was deeply heartened by the hard work and authenticity coordinators, animators as well as participants poured into their applications. In this moment, more than ever, we need community and tools for a just recovery from the global pandemic. We will tackle this challenge the same way people across the globe are doing right now – by drawing strength and inspiration from one another.

Until then, keep finding positive pathways through these challenging times and weaving threads of care through the world.