At EXPLO, ninth grader Sanaa has found the supportive environment and guidance necessary for a project that combines her dream of starting a company with her passion for human rights.

Tomorrow is our presentation for Startup and my project is a civil and human rights American law firm focused towards minorities in America who need emotional, legal, or any support, all done through compassion. I want to continue this project back home, because ever since sixth grade when my mom enrolled me in Model UN, I got really passionate about the issues we discussed, like human rights and environmental issues. I started to love public speaking and ended up chairing one of our debates in Singapore last year.

I live in India where there are a lot of problems, where I see so many homeless people. This year I made a documentary on the lowest caste people in India, which are called Dalits, and I interviewed one of the girls who used to work in a red light district community. I made a film about her life and her view on society. For people like us, everyone we talk to mainly is part of the same perspective; we have a similar view on what society is because we are a part of it. But people like her are left on the outside of society, so I wanted to get that outside perspective on what the inside looks like to them. Essentially, everyone is a part of society — it’s just that other people try to decide who society is. But if everyone is included and united in the decision-making, there’s going to be a huge difference in the world.

At EXPLO, not only do the people who come here have good mindsets, but when they come here and meet new people, the diversity changes the way they think or see. All of us go to really different schools and come from different backgrounds, but when we come here, instead of labelling or judging each other, we learn from each other.