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Teen wins diplomatic award

ENCINITAS — David Hines, 17, isn’t the typical high school senior. His view of issues expands throughout the entire world. His efforts to bridge the cultural gap and increase communication and understanding between cultures were recently recognized by an international organization.
The Pacific Ridge School student recently returned from Atlanta, Ga., in November, after attending People to People International’s ninth annual Global Youth Forum. David Hines was one of more than 200 students worldwide who took part in the forum, which was devoted to the theme Global Health — Can you help PTPI find the solution?
David Hines was the only delegate from the U.S. selected to serve on the conference’s International Student Panel and was honored to receive the coveted PTPI CEO Award. Forum delegates are committed to PTPI’s mission of promoting international understanding and friendship among the world’s people.
During the course of five days, delegates worked through a curriculum that broadened their understanding of various health-related issues and the impact they have on communities around the world. This was his third year of participation in the forum.
David Hines’ mother, Beatrice, has been a citizen of the world and has instilled a sense of world community purpose. “As soon as he was born I took him to visit my parents in Canada.”
As a Canadian immigrant, Beatrice Hines felt the importance of exposing her son to the world at an early age. Her parents were Czech Republic immigrants who escaped Czechoslovakia in 1948 as communism swept the country.
“He got to experience another world on a regular basis,” she said. A member
of the Self-Realization Fellowship, Beatrice Hines took a pilgrimage to India before David was born and knew that she would take her child someday. “He felt very much at home there,” she said.
“India was really the ‘aha moment’ I suppose,” David Hines said. He has traveled the continent twice in addition to trips to Holland, Brazil, Israel, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic.
“When your child has an opportunity to go some place and learn, always take it as opposed to buying them things,” Beatrice Hines advised.
“I’m just a repository for kudos that I get from others, I can’t take all the credit,” Beatrice Hines said. “He came into this world with a lot of good qualities. His natural leadership ability thrills me,” she said. “He has an ability to command respect, yet he’s not a domineering type.”
“It seemed like something I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into,” David Hines said regarding his travels. “I would like to think I’m a natural networker,” he said. Being more aware I can connect my friends, connect my interests and I like the ability to connect my friends’ passions in order to pursue them on an international level.”
At an early age David Hines has developed compassionate leadership qualities. “All these experiences, these world issues don’t just exist on a screen or are talked about at a podium, they are tangible,” he said. “You can go out into the world and explore the issues.”
“We think we have to go to formal conferences to debate and discuss diplomacy, when in reality, we can get involved right in our very own communities,” David Hines said. “I have ambitions to be a diplomat or an ambassador,” he said. “I feel passionately about leadership and about putting a face to diplomacy.”

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