Alpena teen studying in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Parker Wedge of Alpena has been awarded a full merit scholarship to attend UWC in Mostar, located in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The two-year school is part of a worldwide movement that includes campuses in 12 different countries that share a common mission of using education to unite cultures and create a peaceful, sustainable world. UWC students represent up to 90 countries at some campuses, and many students come from areas identified as conflict regions.

Wedge was among 50 U.S. students selected as Davis Scholars, a distinction that is awarded solely on merit. Every year, more than 600 American students apply for the scholarship; finalists go through a rigorous process that includes an in-person interview. Half of the Davis Scholars attend UWC-USA in New Mexico; the other 25 attend campuses in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa and Wales.

Wedge has always been deeply curious about the world beyond the Michigan border. A member of his school’s International Culture Exchange Club, Wedge met regularly with international students to compare and contrast their different cultures. Learning about difference, Wedge realized, shouldn’t be a debate to prove right or wrong, but “rather to enhance the comprehension of the participants, and allow them to contemplate alternative perspectives.” It was this experience that led to his interest in UWC.

UWC offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program, a two-year pre-university course of study that is the most widely recognized and respected secondary school diploma in the world. The IB Diploma is earned by completing six subjects in six different academic disciplines and is externally assessed according to an international standard.

This challenging academic program is complemented by a rewarding mix of community engagement, international affairs, physical activities, and creative pursuits. In living and learning together, students expand their perspectives and solidify their thinking about what is meaningful, what is just, and what kinds of lives they must lead to create the world they want to inhabit.

The UWC movement was founded at the height of the Cold War in the 1950s by German educator Kurt Hahn. He believed that much could be done to overcome religious, cultural and racial misunderstanding if young people from all over the world could be brought together.

Students interested in applying to UWC must be in 10th or 11th grade. Wedge is the son of Tim and Christine Wedge of Alpena.