A meeting of the minds took place Wednesday at North Augusta High School when United Nations journalist Darrin Farrant spoke to students.
In the audience of about 200 in the North Augusta auditorium, students and teachers took notes as Mr. Farrant discussed his job. Galan Potter, International Baccalaureate (IB) dean at North Augusta, had invited the IB junior and senior classes at the Academy of Richmond County.
Martine Saul, 17, a senior at the Academy of Richmond County was excited.
"I have never seen a U.N. representative before," Martine said. "I am very interested in what he has to say."
Mr. Farrant, a photojournalistwriter for the News Services Section of the U.N., reported on the genocide in Darfur and the budding independence of Tokelau, a set of small islands off the coast of New Zealand. He started working for the U.N. in 2003.
"I've always been interested in international politics and I wanted to write about them. I enjoy my job," Mr. Farrant said.
According to Mr. Farrant, the U.N. is deeply concerned about climate change, child soldiers in Africa and Asia, natural disasters, poverty and armed conflicts.
"I think that it's important that young people understand what is going on in their world," Mr. Farrant said. "They should not think that it doesn't affect them because they are a continent away. It does affect them."
Mr. Farrant said he felt honored to speak to the IB students, and he wishes there had been a similar program in Australia when he was growing up.
Charlie Tudor, IB dean at Richmond, agreed that young people should be knowledgeable about the world.
"I think that it's important for our students to witness international current affairs. This U.N. experience will give them an appreciation of what they learn in class. It will make them yearn for the IB diploma even more," he said.
Michael Toliver, 17, a senior at Richmond, said he enjoyed the experience.
"I didn't know that the UN had so many functions," Mr. Toliver said. "I also connected some organizations to U.N. that I didn't know were related to the U.N."
After Mr. Farrant finished speaking, students asked questions about AIDS, maternal care, genocide and the possibility of getting an internship at the U.N.