Letter From President Dr. Victoria Mora

Greetings from Montezuma,

It is paradoxical but it is true: one of the great benefits of being a teacher is the opportunity to learn from our students. Often I’ve come to see a complex idea or problem a little differently because of a student’s insight, because of the experience and values she or he brings to bear on our work together.

Early this spring, I had the chance to see more deeply into the current debate around immigration and the refugee crisis across the globe. With poise and passion, our students became my teachers as they shared their powerful stories.

The local NBC affiliate in Albuquerque sent a reporter to campus to interview six students who were willing to share their insights about President Trump’s executive order limiting entry to the United States of refugees and individuals from specific countries. The students, two from the U.S. and four from countries identified in the ”ban,” shared their stories and passionately addressed the executive order in all of its complexity, noting its intersections with religious and cultural differences and the importance of building relationships based on mutual respect and understanding.

One American student spoke eloquently of her very good friend from Syria who graduated from UWC-USA last spring and is studying in upstate New York. Another student, who came as a refugee to our campus two years ago, implored those who don't know refugees to come to Montezuma and visit us. There was a dominant motif as they told their stories and explained how they felt about the executive order: all-important relationship building would be crippled by tighter restrictions, creating more barriers, more virtual and real walls.

Kurt Hahn founded the very first UWC in response to the kinds of walls and divisions that marked the Cold War. His belief that division makes us less safe, not more, is central to the mission of the UWC movement, which is committed to making education a force to unite us against fear and the divisiveness it breeds.

Over 45 powerful minutes in the sunny round room downstairs in the Castle, the students reminded me of the importance of speaking passionately about the truths we see, of affirming a vision for the future by taking a stand against actions that threaten peace. I’m so pleased and proud to be part of this excellent community, to be in the position to learn from our students at a moment in history when the UWC mission is more important than ever.

Warm regards,

Victoria

Meet Mzwakithi Shongwe, '12, who came to UWC-USA from Swaziland.

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DID YOU KNOW

UWC-USA is one of 17 UWCs on five continents. Other countries that have UWCs include Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Swaziland, Thailand, and Wales.

DID YOU KNOW

UWC-USA students perform more than 18,700 hours of service every year through our association with 25 community partners. More than 2,500 people in Las Vegas, N.M. and the surrounding community have benefited from service projects led by UWC-USA students.

DID YOU KNOW

UWC-USA has 228 students representing more than 70 countries, from Armenia to Zimbabwe. Eleven students come from countries identified as conflict regions. Representation within our student body includes: Africa 10%, Asia 28%, Europe 29%, North America 23%, South America 10%.

DID YOU KNOW

Students don’t apply directly to the school; they are selected by committees in their home countries based on academic achievement, leadership, and curiosity about and involvement with global events and cultures.

DID YOU KNOW

Philanthropist Shelby Davis has created a $40 million endowment that provides 50 U.S. students with full scholarships to attend a UWC every year.

DID YOU KNOW

Our more than 3,357 UWC-USA alumni are spread across the globe: North America 26%, Latin America and Caribbean 16%, Africa 10%, Middle East 6%, Asia 14%, Europe 21%, Pacific 2%

DID YOU KNOW

UWC-USA offers the International Baccalaureate diploma program. Students can choose from IB classes in 28 subjects – a remarkable number given the size of the school.

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