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A South Windsor High School student sent letters to leaders in 186 countries. He received 20 responses back.

Max Schwartzman spent dozens of hours this summer sending out letters wanting to know what these leaders wanted young people to know about their countries.

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. — A South Windsor High School student is getting global recognition after sending letters to world leaders for a school newspaper project.

Max Schwartzman, a junior at SWHS, spent dozens of hours this summer shipping the letters to 186 countries around the world to write an article about the experience for his school newspaper, The Bobcat Prowl. He was curious to know what world leaders would like young people to know about their countries and build connections.

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Schwartzman is this year’s Editor-in-Chief.

“I’ve always been fascinated by international politics which a weird thing for someone my age to say. You know, everyone else is watching TikTok dances,” he said.

In each letter, he asked one question: "what would you want the young people of America to know about your country or you?"

Schwartzman got 20 responses back from around the world, including Lithuania, Monaco, Barbados and more.

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Among the responses, France wrote of embracing diversity and freedom of expression, Switzerland wrote of their neutrality and Portugal wrote of their employment and educational opportunities.

One of Schwartzman’s favorite letters was from the Prime Minister of Iceland.

"This was the only one that was handwritten to me," Schwartzman said. "But it wasn’t just that. It was very kind, it was very personal. He wrote a P.S. at the bottom and wrote about South Windsor, my town."

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The Prime Minister noted how South Windsor was founded in the same year as the Icelandic parliament in 1845. He also wrote about how he learned a member of the American Rock group, Toto, was from South Windsor.

Schwartzman also received an invitation from the Prince of Monaco.

“I will be happy to welcome you and show you the palace if you ever get a chance to visit Monaco and the French Riviera," he said.

“I’ve learned that despite how different some of these places are seen and shown on the news and social media. They’re actually pretty similar. A lot of the people are pretty similar to you and me," Schwartzman said.

Schwartzman’s message for the young people of America:

“I want to refer to one of the things that the prime minister of Iceland actually said to me. He said, 'I would just encourage you and your fellow students to be curious, to be open-minded to be willing and eager to learn about other people.'”

While Schwartzman is a junior this year at South Windsor High School, his dream is to have a career in international relations and be a U.S. diplomat in the Foreign Service.

To read Schwartzman's article, click here.

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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