Paul Keen, a recent graduate of the International School of Amsterdam, spent the better part of last year working, discovering himself, and developing a passion for public policy. Later this year, he will be heading to the London School of Economics to read Policy and Politics.
His circumstances and formative years are marked by remarkable coincidences. His mother and father, from New York and London respectively, met at a wedding in Alabama. Ten years later, the couple married and moved to Thailand, with Paul’s father starting a creative agency. Paul was able to see both the risks and rewards of founding your own business, and he’s inspired to also do so in the future. Paul studied at NIST International School until the age of 16 when the family moved to Amsterdam, where he became exposed to other progressive ways of thinking.
At the International School of Amsterdam and after graduating, Paul was able to work with refugees in the region and understand their issues deeply. He founded a service group at school to help them develop their English speaking skills and help them integrate into their new country of residence. He has also been able to travel to Greece, where he interacted with the refugee community extensively. Paul was able to develop a much more nuanced view on what it is like to be a refugee, seeing how a lack of purpose can hamper quality of life.
All of these experiences led to his fascination with public policy. For Paul, policy is a way of effecting societal change. Modern society continues to face challenges and having experienced life alongside refugees has taught Paul that while some people are bound by unfortunate circumstances, we are all more alike than we think.