May 13, 2020

Global Kids Spring Update with Covid Adjustments

Gk #CensusSquad Leaders
Gk #CensusSquad Leaders

Global Kids, Inc. has rapidly shifted and adapted programs and services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to continue to serve our greatest-need students while offering additional support during this time of crisis. GK partnered with the Department of Education Office of Community Schools to operate 70 Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs) caring for children of first responders - nurses, doctors, custodial staff, and other key personnel - on the front lines of the pandemic. Also creating an online portal, Ning, established with school staff, teachers and administrators to ensure program quality remains consistent and runs smoothly, this internal social network is a centralized organizing space for remote learning that includes both synchronous and asynchronous environments for flexibility to maintain programming structure. Working with the Dept. of Ed., GK on-boarded youth onto school systems like Google Classroom simultaneously with Ning. GK is creating COVID-19 lessons to convey accurate information, improve media literacy to evaluate sources, and counter xenophobia, and implementing socio-emotional learning modules to help students. 

GK seeks to address learning loss for out-of-school students, mental health issues in low-income communities, and ameliorate other losses due to COVID-19. Because GK works almost exclusively with students of color whose communities have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus, a large proportion of our students know someone who has become ill and have families struggling to make ends meet during economic collapse. Simultaneously, students are negotiating the uncharted territory of remote learning, threatening to fall further behind in school. Parents might not have access to resources, know where to find information, or are overwhelmed themselves. These factors combine to create a high-stress home environment with negative repercussions for mental health and school success. As low-income students lose access to services offered by schools, GK staff are providing tutoring, counseling and connecting with students and their families to ensure access to remote learning technology, food, mental health care, and other support. High school seniors, many of whom are first-generation college students navigating the process while colleges are closed, will receive additional support to optimize success as they transition to college, including scholarship application assistance. 

Unfortunately, GK made the decision to cancel the Annual Youth Conference this spring, an event organized and led by our youth. GK leaders selected Gender Equity as the conference theme and had done most of the preparation for the event; attending a conference retreat, designing a logo, and creating workshops. The workshop topics were based on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The youth worked extremely hard on this event, and we are currently exploring other options for youth to present their workshops through digital opportunities.

As we transition into new online offerings, GK is proud to announce that we are hopeful to still reach expected outcomes by the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Despite the challenges, GK is committed to continuing our vital work to support our students, their families and the communities we serve in this crucial moment in students’ education and development. We hope to meet our outcomes by the end of the year despite the challenges posed by school closure and we appreciate the support of our funders during this time.

College and Career:

GK youth have had opportunities to explore options beyond high school, touring college campuses, including the University of Pennsylvania, Williams College, Adelphi and more. Youth have also participated at career panels, hearing from professionals from companies like Google, Youtube, Gemini, Gigantic Studios and Santander. We are proud of several GKs students who have been accepted into colleges such as St. Francis College, the University of Hartford, Ithaca College, and five CUNY schools. Additionally, over 100 GK students have participated in paid internships at Global Kids, Councilmember Deborah Rose’s City Hall office, Central Family Center, and Solar One, to name a few.

#CensusSquad:

Over 75 students have taken on leadership roles within their schools and community by participating in our GK #CensusSquads. These youth are educating and activating their peers, families and community members in and around their schools on the importance of the census. Students have participated in three trainings at GK Headquarters in Manhattan, as well as at school sites in Queens and Brooklyn to learn how to mobilize New Yorkers around census self-response in underserved communities. GK #CensusSquads are powerful ambassadors who have been able to engage hard-to-reach populations, participating in public outreach and social media campaigns to spread the word and break down myths around the census. So far the GK #CensusSquads have collected 206 pledge cards, with additional distribution in their schools and communities. For the last few weeks, the students have hosted Census Sundays virtual panels with different local members of government, to great response.

Human Rights Activist Project (HRAP):

Nearly 100 youth have been engaged in public policy discussions each week at three schools in the Bronx and Queens and at GK Headquarters in Manhattan. In January, five students went to Albany with State Senator Luis R. Sepúlveda from the Bronx to talk with legislators and to advocate for the statewide Climate and Community Protection Act. In February, ten students participated in a Climate Education Task Force Meeting with educators, non-profit leaders, and DOE representatives who are working on expanding climate education in schools. Students are also committed to activism beyond climate issues, such as voter registration.

Virtual Panel with Youth on Covid-19
Virtual Panel with Youth on Covid-19

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Jan 14, 2020

Look Back at the Fall 2019 & End of year 30

Global Kids at COP25
Global Kids at COP25

Global Kids had a strong start to the 2019-2020 school year with enrollment parties, introductory bridge programs and lots of team building activities. In October GK kicked off our leadership program curriculum with our students becoming engaged with all of the activities available to them. Our Leadership program focused on exploring what it means to be a global citizen using gallery walks, videos, news clips, and group discussions. They also discussed what it means to take on personal and global leadership. We were also abe to participate in COP25 again this year, taking eight Global Kid Youth Leaders to Madrid, Spain. Lastly, we were able to round out our 30th year with an alumni panel. Below are all of the highlights from the programs as well as our plans for the new school year.

GIRL HACK and DIGITAL LEARNING

Students discussed identity and representation in media and shared about their own identities. They further explored representation in movies, shows, and games, discussing who they see or don’t see represented as well as created characters illustrating identities they want to see represented more. Students have begun to use Pixton or Webtoons to create online graphic novel/comic-style stories with that character.

UNDESIRABE ELEMENTS and HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST PROJECT

Recruitment for citywide Undesirable Elements (UE), Human Rights Activist Project(HRAP) and Leadership programs took place throughout September and October with outreach at our current schools and presentations at various other high schools around the city. UE has focused on sharing with and learning about each other to consider what students may want to share in the final
performance. They were introduced to the drums, successfully learning rhythms to traditional dances from Haiti.

Students in HRAP began developing their awareness about youth-led movements and the climate crisis. They also took a leading role during the NYC Climate Strike in September with over 100 GK Leaders from various schools attending. One GK youth leader expressed that she had never had the opportunity to attend a march or a protest prior to moving to NYC and joining Global Kids. Since the Climate Strike she has attended every GK activity and has been encouraging her peers to enroll in programming as well. Charlie Engle and Bryan Ingram, co-founders of the environmentally conscious tech-startup green.org, spoke to 15 our students about some of the eco challenges facing our world and how technology can be harnessed for the greater good.  

COLLEGE and CAREER

Four GK seniors made it to the final round for POSSE scholarships with another 16 GK leaders invited to attend "POSSE Prep sessions" to help them prepare for each round of the college application process. Two of our students were selected and will be attending DePauw and Connecticut College.

Additionally, Global Kids hosted a college application party and a FAFSA party at the office headquarters. Volunteers from Gemini, WeWork, Hugoboss, the Department of Education, Baruch College and more hosted over 25 students to get their applications and financial forms together to apply.

COP25

Eight of our Global Kids Youth Leaders were able to attend and participate in COP25 this year in Madrid, Spain. While there, the youth attended COP side events -Ecological and Renewable Energy Transition In The Belt & Road Event (peace boat presented in this event), Indigenous Women: Frontline Defenders in the Fight Against Climate Change, and Friday for future events. Two students were invited to speak about their experiences with climate change at Youth Empowerment for Ocean and Climate Action - MOANA Blue Pacific Pavilion. Students were interviewed at COP 25 by bbc news. Outside of attending COP events, youth were able to explore the town of Toledo, Spain, Plaza Mayor and visit el Palacio Nacional de Madrid. They attended a NYU class in Madrid and met with students who were studying abroad.

COLOMBIA TRAVEL TALK-BACK

On October 23rd, Global Kids Leaders highlighted their experiences and the impact of their leadership trip to Colombia for their peers, families, community partners and GK-DC supporters. We welcomed 50 guests to a showcase event where youth screened a short video/photography, held interactive presentation-style stations to discuss food, culture, and art, as well as enjoy Colombian food. The event’s main program included a question/answer panel with three of the youth who traveled to Colombia. As is the case every year, the evening was informative, inspiring, motivating and fun for all guests who attended.

COP25 GK Leaders
COP25 GK Leaders

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Oct 21, 2019

Summer Wrap-Up and Fall 2019 Update for Global Kids Youth Leaders

NYC Summer Institute
NYC Summer Institute

Global Kids has spent the entire 2019 year celebrating it's 30 year history, and as we round towards the end of the year, 2020 will mark the 10th anniversary for our Global Kids DC programs. This summer, between New York and DC, we were able to take students to Costa Rica, Senegal and Colombia, as well as host our signature summer institutes. We also piloted a one week summer institute in Houston, TX to great results. Below are all of the highlights from the programs as well as our plans for the new school year.

LEADERSHIP & BRIDGE PROGRAMS

Our U.S. in the World Summer Institute at the Council on Foreign Relations was held for three weeks in July with 26 students participating from across NYC. GK Leaders engaged in activities and discussions on a range of foreign policy issues such as Economic Power, Effects of AI: Monitoring and Conditioning, Migration, Proxy Wars: Yemen, and Ethnic Cleansing: Rohingya, to name a few. Students also engaged in conversations with important figures in media and international relations, including ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Alexsandra Dier, Gender Coordinator at the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate and CFR Fellows Shannon O'Neill, Michelle Gavin, Benn Steil, Michelle Gavin, and Jamille Bigi. Each week GK leaders also went on trips to places such as U.S. Mission to the UN where they met Ambassador Cherith Norman, who spoke about her job responsibilities, the United Nations, where they learned about the General Assembly and the Security Council, and the New York Times where they learned about podcasts, photojournalism, and social engagement. Over the course of the three weeks students drafted final project proposals which they presented to a special panel at the Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice at CUNY Law School. They will implement their projects this fall.

Eleven GK Leaders at William Cullen Bryant High School had opportunities to engage in our Human Right Activist Project (HRAP) for one week in July. They learned about issues related to reproductive justice, gender, and climate justice and participated in several service-learning projects. They volunteered at the Floating Hospital in which they helped set up games for the children and helped with a beautification project at the community garden at Governor's Island. At the end of the program, students visited the Museum of the City of New York to view an exhibit dedicated to activism.

We ran several Summer Bridge Programs for a total of 450 incoming 9th graders to help build community, focus on goal-setting, set the right frame of mind for high school and introduce them to GK programming. Careers in Sports High School helped twenty five incoming freshman students develop strategies for dealing with new challenges that come with high school. Students also went on two trips: an escape room where they learned to work as a team and communicate effectively; and the Museum of the City of New York where they took part in their future city lab, envisioning ways to develop a city that benefits and accommodates everyone.

At Bronxdale High School we engaged with nineteen incoming freshman students who worked on a kindness campaign and learned about urban farming. Fourteen students at William Cullen Bryant High School attended our Leadership Bridge Program where they learned about communication and leadership skills. A social worker from Western Queens presented about time management and reducing anxiety and stress in their first year. They also attended a college fair at Columbia University and talked to representatives from over 90 colleges. They also learned about WWII at the Intrepid Museum. At John Adams High School we facilitated workshops to enhance students’ leadership, communication, and public speaking skills. We also supported the Open House with 725 phone calls to ensure successful participation and helped to organize the Freshmen Field day.

Our program at High School for Global Citizenship (HSGC) worked with fourteen rising freshmen. Throughout the week, we focused on goal-setting using vision boards and reflection letters to think about the next four years of high school. Students also learned about various leadership styles and identity groups, reflecting on how their identity(ies) affects their experiences. The students also participated in community-building activities and trips such as tie-dying t-shirts, and visiting both the Botanical Garden and Prospect Park. Seventy-eight incoming 9th graders at High School for Public Service engaged in a half-day bridge program filled with team building, games, a reflection activity and an ice cream social. Students were excited to participate and to get to know GK staff and the programs we offer. For the third year in a row we led a half-day bridge program at High School of Art and Design to help students to get to know each other, set goals they want to accomplish in high school and learn about GK programming. This year nearly our full program staff of 50 people worked with 300 students - double the number from last year!

Global Kids-DC Summer Institute engages high school students in an intensive study of global issues, career exploration, travel abroad, and youth activism. For the third year, GK-DC Summer Institute was generously hosted at Catholic University with our partner the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute (BMYLI). The Institute served 39 youth, aged 14-19, from many high schools throughout the DC area. We recruited youth mainly from our existing programs (3-Anacostia HS, 3-Ballou HS, 4-McKinley HS, 13-MBYLI and 10-outside connections). Our youth hailed from all wards, with the majority coming from Wards 7 and 8. All enrolled youth who participated in the Marion Barry’s Summer Youth Employment Program received stipends.

COLLEGE & CAREER

We’re so proud of our GK Leaders who graduated from high school in June, which came at a rate of 97%. The majority (94%)
have matriculated into college with many attending schools within CUNY (e.g. BMCC, City Tech, John Jay, City College) and SUNY (Canton, Oswego, Delhi, Albany). Some private schools our recent alumni are attending include University of DC, George Washington University, Culinary Institute of America, Vaughn, St. John's University, and Penn State. We’re excited that we could support some of our students with much needed college scholarships. Five students received a total of $3,550 in GK Scholarships and three students received Foundation 17 Scholarships, with one student being awarded the top F17 scholarship of $5,000 per year. Another student from Transit Tech HS, received $28,000 to attend New England College. Students who did not matriculate followed other post-secondary routes including working full-time or taking a gap year. Several students from Transit Tech High School entered MTA apprenticeship programs. We look forward to staying in touch with all of our alumni!

Our College & Career Readiness program at William Cullen Bryant High School served 33 participants and ran from July 29-August 2. Students participated in workshops on financial did, scholarships, professionalism, resumes, and interviews. They also participated in a career panel which included professionals from banking, luxury media, international law, IT, medicine, higher education (professor from Vassar) and Estee Lauder. On the last day, students attended a college tour and information session at Brown University.

This year’s Summer Internship Program (SIP) at Transit Tech High School placed 41 students in summer jobs where they practiced work skills they learned about throughout our career preparation program. Students worked at Bobtek Electrical Corporation, NYC-MTA, NYC-DOT, Brooklyn Public Library-Central, Brooklyn Public Library-Saratoga, Brooklyn Public Library-New Lots, TJ Maxx Gateway Center, Chelsea Recreation Center (Media Lab). They served as warehouse assistants, community aid assistants, office support aides, merchandise associates, street ambassadors, and media lab interns. By the end of the
summer, two students were offered permanent positions at their worksites: TJ Maxx Gateway Center and Bobtek Electrical Corporation. We’re also excited that two others who graduated this year and were hired as part-time assistant trainers with our GK middle school programs!

Through our Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists (BSSWA) Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), 88 young people gained enriching and valuable work experience. Older youth were assigned worksites that ranged from administrative support to youth program assistants - some working in our own middle school summer camp programs. Our younger youth had job assignments connected to project- based learning focused on a media literacy theme. They were tasked with creating a media project depicting social issues that affected their communities. From community mapping and conducting interviews, students presented their projects that were then shared across various social media outlets.

Global Kids launched a one-week pilot program - The US in the World Energy Policy Institute - that was modeled on its award-winning summer program held at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. The Institute was held at the African American Library at the Gregory School, located in Houston's Fifth Ward, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm each day. Breakfast, lunch and a travel stipend were provided to the students. 

After submitting an application consisting of short essays, a transcript and letter of recommendation, students were interviewed by Global Kids staff via video conference. There were nearly forty applicants. Nineteen students from the following schools formed the cohort: Galena Park HS, Houston Academy for Int'l Studies, Kinder HS of Performing Arts, YES Prep, Northside HS, Stratford HS, Westside HS, Phyllis Wheatley HS, Klein Cane HS, Texas Connections Academy, Carnegie Vanguard HS, Middle College HS at HCC, Chavez HS, Early College High School/ CE King High School and Energy Institute HS. There was no required GPA and the participants were diverse in academic ability, ethnicity, race and gender. 

Each day, students participated in content-based, interactive workshops led by Global Kids staff. Topics included energy policy 101, geopolitics, climate change, energy trends, human rights, and energy production, and the workshops included engaging strategies such as role plays, purposeful games, small group work, the arts and more to bring the content to life in a meaningful and fun way.  In addition to learning about complex issues, students developed public speaking, collaboration, problem-solving, critical-thinking, literacy and leadership skills. Guest speakers from non-profits, energy companies, and advocacy organizations came and spoke to students about their careers as well as their perspectives on energy policy. Each student created an action plan at the end of the institute which detailed personal steps they would take to address an energy issue. Participants took a pre and post survey to assess and measure their learning, and completed a daily "exit" survey to garner feedback on the program and learning goals.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

In partnership with Black Birthright, an initiative of the Tunstall Foundation, five Global Kids students from Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists (BSSWA), Bronxdale High School, William Cullen Bryant High School, and John Adams High School traveled for 10 days to Senegal. The jam-packed inaugural trip allowed our youth the opportunity to experience the continent’s culture and historical roots. The excursion featured visits to the country’s popular tourist spots including Goree Island, Somone Lagoon Reserve, Ile de Sarpan, and the Museum of Black Civilizations. At the Goree Institute, University of Dakar professor Dr. Gorgui Dieng taught our students linguistic language as well as a lecture on slavery and colonization.

Our youth also met entrepreneurs, educators, and youth to brainstorm African financial and investment opportunities. Special thanks to Black Birthright for giving our youth an opportunity they’ll never forget!

Eight high schoolers from Bronxdale High School had a trip of a lifetime when they traveled for 12 days to Costa Rica this summer. Students had the opportunity to volunteer at a turtle conservation at Lirio Lodge and spent three days touring the sights of San Jose, reflecting on the ecological beauty, and visited the University of Peace and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) to discuss the country's immigration practices. They also met experts in the education, government affairs, environmental, and agricultural sectors.

Other highlights included our Leaders taking an ethnobotany class at the Chilamate Eco Resort, hiking the Izaur Volcano and the rainforest, picking strawberries at a local farm, and spending time with locals and students teaching English and painting a mural. A documentary chronicling our students’ journey will debut this fall. “The Global Kids trip to Costa Rica was a fun experience that took younger students out of their comfort zone and put them in a place where they could learn and grow. Costa Rica showed me that working together makes a big difference in the world. What we do not only impacts the present but future generations," said GK Leader, Jashanna B.

Eight Global Kids DC youth from our Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute (MBYLI) traveled for nine days between July 26 – August 7 for a global-education and exchange trip to Colombia. In collaboration with the international research and development organization CINDE, DC youth gained exposure and insights into Colombian history, culture, geography, and government. With visits to Bogota and Cartagena, the group spent time sightseeing cultural hotspots like La Candelaria, Museo de Oro, and the city’s graffiti art districts. DC Leaders also connected with experts, locals, and students from the Centro Nacional de Memoria Historia (CMMH), the nonprofit Family Ayara Foundation, and schools in the Soacha and Cartagena municipalities where they participated in student exchange activities. 

FALL PROGRAMS 

We kicked off Fall programming right after Labor Day weekend and dove right into recruitment parties, start-of-year bridge programming and activated our youth to particpate and drive their communitites to the Climate Strike on September 20. With over 40 youth congregating at our Manhattan headquarters, and more leading their schools, our youth were there for an important day in our history.

Additionally, Global Kids staff at Curtis High School supported the school with their 9/11 March, which had 200 students participate. They also recently took students to Adelphi University on October 14.

Currently staff across sites are organizing internship opportunities for the students this year, and will be providing stipends for their participation. 

Thank you for supporting our programs and young people. With your generous donations, Global Kids is able to continue this transformative work of developing community leaders and global citizens to take action on critical issues facing our world! 

Climate Strike 2019
Climate Strike 2019

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