Staff members of LAS—whether working in January or July, strive to deliver on the big promise of our mission statement: to foster in young people the ideas of innovation, compassion, and responsibility. The founders of LAS, Sigrid and Fred Ott, were determined to create a school where students from different backgrounds came together to study, to play, and to get to know each other. Their insight was simple: when one culture understands another, the differences between them are made less significant. Less significant differences lead to less significant disagreements.
At LAS Summer in Switzerland, students from all over the world live with each other, go to classes with each other, and become friends with each other. Friends, as we know, are not inclined to hurt each other. Friends, when they do hurt each other, do what it takes to mend the wounds. We are all different. We take joy in the tremendous range of religious beliefs, traditions and customs, world views, and hopes for the future that our students bring to our campus in the Alps. In these differences we find commonalities.
Commonalities are far stronger—far more central to being human—than our differences. We have fun, we learn, we stretch ourselves through activities and excursions. We are a summer program. And we are something greater as well. We are a community of international citizens, learning to work and play with each other, no matter our origins. It’s not just feel-good rhetoric. Our mission at LAS Summer in Switzerland has a vital role to play in the world. And we're so excited our students and staff get to be a part of it.
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