Written by Amara Mir, Bushra Mir, Claudia Bibiana Ruiz, and Paola Santo, leaders of the Co-Lab Education Hub

The Quality Education Hub aims to increase the accessibility of education globally. We’ve had boundless opportunities to learn more about education around the world. One such opportunity was leading a discussion and (virtual) class with 40 graduate students from Colombia, thanks to one of our mentors, Claudia Bibiana Ruiz. In short:

  • We fostered an open dialogue on the value of education and what we could all do in our countries to encourage this change. 
  • We provided resources and a gateway to Teens Dream Co Lab resources that would allow these students to create change.

Here’s how our Hub Ambassadors felt about the experience!

Bushra, Bangladesh, Hub Teen Ambaassador 

I was in awe of the diversity of their perspectives. The students were hesitant to speak in English but, once they had, their words were articulate and their thoughts powerful. As someone studying in an American international school, I had lived in a bubble of privilege among the disparities in Bangladesh. We had surpassed the barrier of geographical divides to have an honest discussion about the value of education. To them, education is an avenue for their future—a perspective that has been long neglected. The six letters etched in bold blue reaffirmed to all of us what one student had powerfully stated: “Education should be a right, not a privilege.”

Paola, Mexico, Hub Teen Ambassador 

Something that amazed me was how brave they were to speak in a foreign language about such complex topics. Even though some were a bit shy at the beginning of our conversation, they gradually became more confident and excited about what we were discussing. Ultimately, their willingness allowed us to have an extremely meaningful and rich conversation about our countries and how they viewed education.

Amara, Bangladesh, Hub Teen Ambasssador: 

Besides what Paola and Bushra have already mentioned, the opportunity to speak with such intelligent and open-minded individuals showed me the value of experience. I got to see the value of education beyond just what we are taught in school: the value of diversity and culture. After the planned discussion was over, we spoke openly with them, listening to and answering any questions they had. Namely, one that stuck with me was, “what do you think Bangladeshis think of Colombia?” I spoke of my experience with them, and they spoke of their impression of Bangladesh. We talked about the beauty of our countries outside of what popular media may portray it as. We spoke about the people. We were able to connect. Regardless of our age, nationalities, geography, or even our cultures, our desire to understand the value of education brought us together.


Bibiana, Colombia, Hub Mentor: 

As this world is so close to everyone from a click, the advantages of interacting with different people in different countries allowed students to empower themselves: using digital tools and the English language to recognize that their concerns, passions, and interests are found in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in SDG number 4, Quality Education, 5 Gender Equality and 13 Climate Action. In this sense, education goes beyond the curriculum and the contents of the particular context of life itself. That life where hope is contagious, and where from pedagogical discussions, sharing dreams and experiences inspire and empower to take glocal actions that impact the world in different settings: Family, academics, professionals transcending projects that medium and long term can involve the whole community. And thus overcome the fear of speaking in English. As a teacher, I see how much power there is in connecting people and their stories and how much they empower and especially encourage women to raise their voices and share ideas that can transform the world. Strengthening this type of international collaboration activities must be a transversal purpose to what is done in academics at all levels to guarantee the scope and sustainability of quality education for all.