Soren Gran '16 Travels to Malaysia and Returns to Help America


Nick Sherrard ’15

Gran Malaysia pics 3
One of Gran’s pictures from his trip

Over the summer, SEHS Junior Soren Gran travelled with twenty-two other high school students from all over the United States to Southeast Asia on a trip sponsored by The American Youth Leadership Program (AYLP), put on by Cultural Vistas.  After being accepted into the AYLP, Gran, who has been a member of the program for approximately a year, had to take an online course to learn more about the culture and history of the area as well as sustainable development. According to Gran, sustainable development and experiencing other cultures were the bulk of the program.
As a part of the trip, the students were supposed to create what AYLP called a “Post Program Project” once they returned home with their experiences.  Gran and his partner Jonathan Guttman in California are working on a project called “Stop, Walk, and Roll to School.” The purpose of this program is to encourage students to walk, bike, or carpool to school. There will be three official days promoted through the program. However, their intention is to encourage healthy, environmentally friendly transportation year round.
Gran Malaysia pics
Another picture from a high rise in South East Asia

“Although there’s a widening focus on biking with rising gas prices and environmental awareness, many people still drive everywhere. It seemed like a good idea to show people the potential of other forms of transportation that have more benefits, both for our health and our environment.”
While the students were travelling, AYLP had them present their project proposals in a competition. The winners received $200 from Cultural Vistas to help start their project. Soren and his partner won first place.
The first scheduled day for the program is October 8, International Walk and Bike to School Day. Listen to the announcements for more details about the program.