IBSC Student Forum 2015

Civil Rights, Human Rights, the American Experience

22-26 June, 2015 in Nashville

In late June, 2015, forty students and mentors representing IBSC member schools from around the world, gathered together to learn about the American Civil Rights Movement... and discuss issues of social justice. This video offers a glipmse into their experience.

Program and Information Guide

In coordination with the IBSC Annual Conference
at Cape Town, South Africa, Montgomery Bell Academy, St Christopher's School, and the IBSC will host the third annual IBSC Student Forum: Civil Rights, Human Rights, and the American Experience in Nashville from 22 to 26 June, 2015.

Boys from IBSC schools across our global community will be selected to participate in the IBSC Student Forum. Boys will be in their penultimate grade of high school beginning in January/February. Each schoolmust also designate a School Mentor to provide support and to accompany the student to and from Nashville in June.

  • Nominate a Student (deadline has passed; we will begin soliciting nominations in November, 2015 for the 2016 Student Forum which will be held in conjunction with the Annual Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada)
  • Student Application


Logistical details, including a draft schedule, is available online here .

The Student Forum Program

The IBSC Student Forum is based on the principle that education includes learning not only how to grow intellectually, physically, and emotionally, but also learning how to provide those opportunities for others while simultaneously offering opportunities to build a stronger community. Participation in programs that teach historical lessons about common challenges that face our communities help the boy move beyond single-minded thinking about personal well-being by broadening his awareness of others. The 2015 Student Forum will emphasize the importance of informed optimism, focused generosity, deliberate planning, and energetic action to effect positive change.We will discuss civil rights and human rights , and how they relate to the issues still happening in America and the world. These discussions should be applicable to schools and communities throughout our IBSC schools.

Program Components:

Room and board will be provided at Vanderbilt University, which is near Montgomery Bell Academy. During their stay in Nashville, they will be fully supervised by the leadership team for the Student Forum team, assisted by the Mentors.In the lead-up to June, participants are required to engage in an on-line curriculum designed to provide background on the theme. Students will also research the history of their own communities regarding human and civil rights. From Monday, 22 June to Friday, 26 June, the boys will then convene in Nashville to participate in a program of study and discussion of the local and national modern American Civil Rights movement in order to analyze lessons learned, and identify similarities and differences with the history and current challenges of civil and human rights in their own communities.

In addition to the formal Student Forum, the program tentatively includes a canoeing trip, visits to The Parthenon Museum, The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, and an evening featuring local bands at Rocketown. Nashville is a rich and diverse cultural capital!


Ideal candidates for the IBSC Student Forum are boys who:

  • Are (or will be) in their penultimate year of high school as of January/February 2015 (or younger if they have the maturity and poise to be strong contributors to the Student Forum);
  • are outstanding members and representatives of their school communities have; demonstrated a strong interest in servant-leadership in their home communities;
  • and are well-organized and self-motivated, with an openness and readiness to participate fully in all aspects of the program


We require the additional participation of a School Mentor from each school. The School Mentor:

  • may be working in any capacity at the school (teacher, coach, administrator, staff, etc.);
  • will provide local support and guidance for the student, and will be a local contact for the Directors of the IBSC Student Forum;
  • will meet with the student on a regular basis to review progress leading up to Nashville;
  • will keep the Head and the student's parents/guardian informed about the Student Forum;
  • will serve as chaperone for the student during all travel to and from Nashville in June/July;
  • and will participate as assigned in the IBSC Student Forum program while in Nashville; this will include either a supervisory duty in the Vanderbilt dorms or a daytime chaperone duty.


Tution is $1000.00 USD (for each attendee, both student AND mentor).

Tuition for students and mentors will cover the costs of room and board in the dorms at Vanderbilt University, all meals (from Monday evening to Saturday morning), ground transportation, entrance fees to all planned activities, and other costs associated with the running of the program. In addition, the forum will involve mentoring by experts in the Civil Rights movement.

The fee does not include the cost of air travel to and from Nashville, any out-of-country medical insurance, discretionary pocket money and other personal necessities.


Directors of the Student Forum are Joe Sharbel at Montgomery Bell Academy (joe.sharbel@montgomerybell.edu) and John Green from St Christopher's School (greenj@stcva.org).


Step 1: By 27 FEBRUARY 2015
Schools interested in the IBSC Student Forum will nominate one student and a School Mentor by completing the online Nomination Form .

Step 2: by 27 FEBRUARY 2015
Directly after submitting the Nomination Form, you will be directed to have the nominated student complete the on-line Student Application , which they must complete and submit by February 22nd. The application is designed to gather important information and personal reflection on the value of local service, and to signal the commitment and readiness of participants.

Step 3: by 6 March 2015
The student and School Mentor will receive formal notification from the Student Forum Leadership as to whether the nominated student has been accepted to participate in the IBSC Student Forum by March 1st.

For More Information

Application Process: If you have questions about the application process, please contact the IBSC Registration Officer: Kathy Blaisdell at office@theibsc.org.

Program Questions: If you have questions regarding the details of the program, they can be answered by co-chairs of this year's forum: Joseph Sharbel joe.sharbel@montgomerybell.edu or John Greengreenj@stcva.org.