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Polygence Scholar2022
Talia Zafari's profile

Talia Zafari

Marlborough SchoolClass of 2024Los Angeles, California



  • "Lost at the Airport: The Ins and Outs of Deliberative Democracy" with mentor Saribel (June 9, 2022)

Project Portfolio

Lost at the Airport: The Ins and Outs of Deliberative Democracy

Started Dec. 7, 2021

Abstract or project description

This children’s book follows three protagonists whose families left them behind in the airport. The story takes place in the New York City Airport (JFK), as all of the protagonists are there for vacation. At first, they are not worried that they are lost and enjoy eachothers company while exploring fun parts of the airport. Then, as day turns into night, a massive blizzard empties the airport and the protagonists start panicking. The airport’s phone lines are out, so it is up to the three kids to find a way to get back to their families. They go through obstacles and adventures to attempt to fix the situation, and they make some rash decisions, then progress to making wise decisions that they all agree upon. Bella, who is the daughter of two politicians and resides in Washington D.C, is very knowledgeable, whitty, extroverted, and enjoys teaching her friends about political topics. She tackles obstacles with precision and her character shares lessons with the reader and the other protagonists. These lessons include equal representation (agreeing equally and disagreeing equally), debate/deliberation, and taking an actual vote to decide what to do in the end. The second protagonist, Maya, who is from Helena, Montana has Nigerian parents and is an introvert who does not always speak her mind. Yet as the story progresses, she learns how to share her opinion in order to make sure that the group makes wise decisions that they all agree upon. The last protagonist is a Pakistani boy from New Orleans, Ali. He rushes to make decisions and at first he doesn’t believe that he should “deliberate” with the other two characters, and thinks he can solve problems on his own. As the story progresses, he comes to the understanding that discussion is key to finding a solution. The goal of this children’s book is to educate students on a topic they are not taught in school, deliberative democracy, and help students realize that discussing and collaborating with people who may not always have the same beliefs as you is crucial in making choices and solving problems effectively. The end of the story uses a “flash-forward” where the one of the protagonists, Bella, is a politician and is in a room with world leaders and government officials who all have differing perspectives attempting to solve an issue. She will come to the realization that when she was younger and lost in an airport talking through decisions, that she was utilizing deliberative democracy, and what she is doing now to help change the world is deliberative democracy.