FIRE conference valuable experience, say attendees

Clare O'Connor, Reporter

Students who attended the Fostering Intercultural Respect and Engagement conference at Lake Forest Academy on Feb. 25 encourage other students to embrace the opportunity next year.

Freshman Téa Tamburo and juniors Sawyer Anderson and Zach Sharp attended the conference with Dean of Students Ana Campos and Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Priyanka Rupani.

Interested students will have the opportunity to attend the conference next year. Zach expressed his hope that more students will attend the conference in the future to enjoy what he believes is a valuable experience. 

We don’t quite live in the real world. It’s important to get out there and see the lives of people that are outside our community”

— Zach Sharp

Zach explained the value of the conference by highlighting the uniformity of Lab’s student body, conveying that exposure to different experiences could enlighten students’ empathy. While Lab’s unique environment fosters creativity and motivation that makes Lab a successful learning environment, Zach explained that the Lab Schools experience can separate students from reality.

“We don’t quite live in the real world. It’s important to get out there and see the lives of people that are outside our community,” Zach said. Zach further explained that the FIRE conference taught him about compassion through hearing stories that expanded his world view. 

The FIRE conference is an annual event meant to encourage students from different backgrounds to build connections and share life stories. This year, the conference emphasized the power of understanding the importance of learning from examining other’s life experiences.