From ‘Energy of the Future’ to ‘The Global Status of Women’, I am passionate about solving global issues and challenging our perception of the world we live in. Currently in Year 12 at Burnside High School, I am fortunate enough to be Head Girl of West Division. For the last eight years, I have been involved in a programme called Future Problem Solving, an academic competition challenging students to address, understand and solve potential and existing global issues. Late last year, I was selected to represent New Zealand at my third World Championships, having topped the National Finals in 2015, 2017 and 2018. In June, I will be heading off to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, to compete against other state, national and affiliate champions from around the world, taking on the topic of ‘de-extinction’.

The FPSPI International Conference occurs each June at a university in the USA, drawing 2,500 problem-solving champions from the 23,000+ students who compete at local and regional levels throughout the school year. In 2018, I represented New Zealand in Wisconsin as an individual competitor, placing fifth in the world. The competition itself revolved around ‘Criminal Justice Systems’. After months of researching everything from the business acumen of cybercriminal enterprises to the pros and cons of the utilitarian philosophy, I had what was a very eye-opening chance to critically analyse the current and potential flaws faced by criminal justice systems.

It is my hope that, from this conference, I will have built on my leadership and problem-solving skills to give back to the community which has provided me with so many amazing opportunities. I am endlessly grateful to the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation for helping me on this journey to the 2019 Future Problem Solving World Championships.