Challenging times inspires international win

27 September 2023


Year 7 student, Tehahlee Harvey has been crowned an International Champion, winning the Junior Individual Community Problem Solving division at the Future Problem Solving International Final.

The event saw nine St Andrew’s students travel to the University of Massachusetts in June for four days of competition, after their success in both the state and national Future Problem Solving Finals.

Telahlee’s winning project, ‘A Change Toolbox’ provides strategies and programs to help children cope with change, an idea that was initially sparked by struggling with a change in her own life.

Initial research she conducted with Year 6 students indicated the need for support of students going through change, and from there Telahlee began investigating how she could help.

‘A Change Toolbox’ encourages three principles; talking openly with people you trust, developing strategies to calm down and see the silver lining and focusing on things that you enjoy.

“The most important aspects were researching how I could help children cope with change and talking to experts about this problem,” Telahlee said.

A core part of her project was the introduction of ‘peace pebbles’ into Year 6. These pebbles are used to motivate students with a nice image or kind and supporting word on them.

“This had an impact on students as it helped them to feel supported and as if they are not alone,” she said.

“Students found these really helpful and continued using these in their classrooms after I introduced them to them.”

Competing in Future Problem Solving and developing this project has not only benefitted the students but also Telahlee.

“I have enjoyed how much of a difference my project made in people’s lives and in my own life by being a constant force of happiness,” she said.

“I have learnt how to be better at time management, build my leadership skills by reaching out, as well as becoming more confident when speaking in front of people.”

With the success of her project on the international stage, Telahlee hopes to see the students continue using ‘A Change Toolbox’ tools and strategies.

“I hope students continue using what I taught them in high school and beyond so they feel equipped to work through hardships in the future,” she said.

Congratulations to our St Andrew’s Junior Community Problem Solving Team ‘The Mindfulness Heroes’ - Ted Sheppard, Sonny Simmonds, Blake Telburn, Harvey Pennay, Adam Vesely, Finn Grant and Kashyap Dhital as well as Sascha Seymour who competed in Middle Division Scenario Writing, who were International Finalists.

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