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Korik Bestrin, 19

Korik Bestrin is a volunteer for 100 Story Building, an Australian creativity and literacy center for children and youth. He participates in Level 87, a book club that provides a space for youth to share their love of books with the goal of fostering discussion around books outside of an educational environment. Bestrin’s main creative outlet is storytelling through collaborative role playing games, similar to Dungeons and Dragons, that provide in-depth storytelling options rather than simply saving the kingdom from the baddies. Most of all, Bestrin is passionate about world-building. He feels that world-building in stories is like bass in music—in many cases it is not necessary for a decent story and too much of it can be overwhelming to those who do not expect it. When used tastefully, the environment can add depth to a story and turn an enclosed narrative into a way for readers to leap into another universe.          

Bestrin is deeply interested in issues surrounding racism and immigration, specifically the treatment of people seeking asylum in Australia who are placed in offshore detention centers. As a person who comes from a migrant background, Bestrin has heard difficult stories from parents and grandparents about their arrival to Australia. He is often disheartened to hear that along with the unavoidable obstacles, of settling in a new country, many desperate refugees must also face detainment in reportedly squalid government centers.