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Future of Culture,
Youth Advocate

Lize Deng wants you to look at the world with fresh eyes. 

Lize knows a thing or two about being an outsider. Moving to New Zealand aged six, he was thrown into the deep end of a culture he did not understand. "Lizzie?" "Lies?" "I'm sorry; how do I say your name?" As it turns out, they didn't understand him either. 

Delving into things he doesn't yet understand is Lize's speciality. His parents loved to travel. Tokyo, New York, Sydney, and London; each destination was another world with unique language, art, and practices. Lize learned to embrace what he saw and found joy in trying new things. Most importantly, he documented it all with his journal and camera. Each time he returned home, he felt invigorated with new ideas and a better understanding of his place in the world. Lize didn't mind being the outsider—he enjoyed the perspective.

National Geographic is a staple in Lize's library. It didn't matter that his English sucked; the photos were transportive and awe-inspiring in themself. It was those late nights of globe-trekking that inspired his continued love of photography. 

Of course, it helps that he is _not_ illiterate. Since taking on the editorship at his school's student newspaper, he has sought to transform how his peers approach writing for an audience. He believes that the best conversations emerge out of engaging with unfamiliar ideas and encourages his staff to read, gossip, and debate. 

Lize also heads local charitable organisations to organise cultural celebrations and environmental initiatives. Each day, he engages with a diverse range of people, from primary school children to caregivers, people who can pronounce his name…and those who really can't. The key to working together? Finding common ground. 

In his spare time, Lize enjoys teaching photography and playing the violin (even though he sounds terrible). 

Lize developed an early love for the visual arts. Colour, form, light and dark are universal languages, even when words are not. While he enjoys the freedom painting offers, photography stands out for its intimacy, versatility, and truth. Lize plans to study photography and English literature at Tufts University to help develop a career in photojournalism. His dream is for his work to feature in National Geographic and bring outsiders' stories into the light. 

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