The NIST education has gradually shifted over the past several years as our community has become increasingly aware of the importance of engaging with other communities to work toward shared solutions for local and global issues, and the need for more sustainable practices. More than ever, it’s critical that organizations work not solely for their own betterment, but also for the needs of future generations.
In many cases this drive to become a more conscientious school does not come from leadership or teachers, but from our students themselves. Whether through plastic reduction or social entrepreneurship, they identify ways to contribute individually and collectively to these efforts. One such student was recently recognized in The Nation and other publications for the launch of his own business.
Polpong (Much) P. in Year 12 created Everleaves with the intention of both supporting pineapple farmers in Prachuap Khiri Khan, a province in southern Thailand. His method for transforming pineapple leaves into paper provides an alternative for farmers in selling a byproduct that otherwise has limited uses: “Not only does this reduce the pollution that is emitted from the production of alternative materials, but it adds economic value to these pineapple leaves which would have been otherwise incinerated and wasted.”
Through the creative use of these leaves, Much has enabled farmers to dramatically increase their income while also filling a niche market demand. More importantly, he has implemented a model that has produced similar results at NIST: one that relies on collaboration between differing communities through the perspective of shared learning. By approaching issues from the perspective of a learner, actively seeking to understand the needs of others and working with them to develop solutions, NIST students have continued to make a positive impact throughout Thailand and the greater region.
Congratulations, Much, and we look forward to seeing your products spread even further!