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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Jul 22, 2019

GK School Year Wrap-Up & Summer Programming Begins

We continue to celebrate 30 years of Global Kids by finishing another busy school year as strong as ever! Our GK Leaders, as always, took action in a variety of ways, including activating their voices at rallies, connecting with policy makers, and leading peer education workshops. From March to May, the conference planning committee was hard at work preparing for the 2019 Global Kids Youth Conference. Also, throughout the spring, our program sites finished out modules on Social Movements to Defend Rights, Global Reach, and Future Directions. This summer saw the launch of a one-week institute focused on energy policy and human rights in Houston in June as well as our annual summer program at the Council on Foreign Relations in July. Below is a selection of our program highlights:

 2019 Global Kids Annual Youth Conference

The Global Kids Annual Youth Conference is a youth-organized, youth-led event, which brings together teenagers and educators from schools across New York City and beyond, to learn about the issues that are important to our youth. GK Leaders, along with speakers from around the world, will conduct workshops around the overarching theme of Criminal Justice Reform and cover topics including prisoners’ rights, race, poverty, the war on drugs, gender/LGBTQIA, migration, substance abuse, incarcerated minors, and prisoners of war/political prisoners. 

The Conference Planning Committee spent their spring finalizing workshop drafts, practicing facilitating their workshops, and designing the conference t-shirt. The conference planners were divided into smaller groups of 3-4 students who then took a lead in creating, as well as polishing, a workshop based on a subtopic of criminal justice reform. GK Leaders worked on strengthening their facilitation skills by practicing their workshops with their peers as well as GK staff, receiving and offering feedback. Additionally, in light of College Signing Day, the conference planners spent a session exploring what type of college environment they see themselves in, and celebrating the seniors within the committee who had committed to a college. GK Leaders saw all their hard work come to life for 336 students and educators at the conference on May 23rd at Hunter College. 

The Human Rights Activist Project (HRAP)

Using a human rights framework, HRAP gives youth the tools they need to influence public policy. Students identify and research environmental issues and develop campaigns for social change, which includes public outreach, direct action, media strategies, meetings with elected officials, and networking with other organizations.

HRAP focused on student-led climate change activism. Through workshops and trips, GK Leaders supported climate justice legislation by advocating and meeting with NYC Council Member, Costa Constantinides about the local Dirty Buildings Bill. They also advocated for the statewide Climate & Community Protection Act.

GK Leaders engaged in several advocacy activities against the Williams Pipeline by surveying and gathering signatures from people on the street, calling and meeting with politicians, writing emails, making signs, and rallying. They organized a Green New Deal Town Hall in order to spread awareness about the new policy and a 10th grade GK Leader from the High School for Medical Professions was invited to introduce Mayor De Blasio during his Green New Deal Earth Day press conference. GK Leaders visited a recycling facility and performed many other actions that brought victories like the passing of the Dirty Buildings law and Governor Cuomo voting against the Williams Pipeline. 

Digital Learning and Leadership (DLL)

Since 2000, Global Kids has been filling a void by bringing STEM curriculum to students in underserved communities. Global Kids’ Digital Learning & Leadership (DLL) program leverages technology and digital media tools to teach leadership skills and to promote local and global community building opportunities for high school, middle school and elementary school students. 

This spring, we continued our collaboration with LinkNYC in which our GK Leaders researched women of color in STEM and created digital artwork that was displayed on all of the LinkNYC kiosks for the month of March in honor of Women’s History Month. Through this project, our students played a role in spreading awareness of important women of color STEM contributors. 

On May 11th, the annual EmotiCon event was emceed by GK Leaders from Careers in Sports High School. Over 500 youth and adults attended this citywide event in which 13 GK digital learning projects were showcased with two winning awards! 

Flows through the Music from PS 96 won the Point of View Award. GK Leaders wrote songs about the lack of access to safe drinking water around the world and how it impacts youth and communities. Their multimedia experience included a mix of text, video, and images drawn and edited by GK Leaders to accompany an original song.

Blood and Alcohol from the High School of Art & Design won an Honorable Mention. This project utilized Twine, a free and open-source tool for making interactive fiction in the form of web pages. One of our GK Leaders created a story on drinking and responsible decision-making based on what she learned in her forensics class about blood alcohol levels. 

Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Each summer, up to 30 GK Leaders gain access to the resources of the world’s leading international affairs think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations. This summer’s GK “U.S. in the World” institute is in full swing ! From July 8th to 26th, GK Leaders will attend round tables with experts in fields as varied as international relations, journalism, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies, and climate change. Workshops investigating these fields are combined with daily conversations with noted foreign policy experts like President of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass, former US Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, CFR Fellows Benn Steil, Shannon O’Neil, and Jamille Bigio, and award-winning journalist George Stephanopoulos.

Middle, High & Community Schools Programs

Over 125 trips and special events served to enhance learning opportunities for our GK Leaders across our middle, high, and community schools programs. Below are some highlights:

Middle Schools

PS/IS 109, Q300, & Manhattan East: In May, GK Leaders, including students  in our Teen Battle Chef Club, went to the NYC DOE School Food Headquarters to advocate for healthier food options. They proposed new items that could be added to the menu in NYC public schools. 

High Schools

High School for Global Citizenship: On March 21st, GK Leaders visited the United Nations to commerorate World Down Syndrome Day and learned about the discrimination faced by individuals with Down Syndrome. 

Transit Tech High School: From March to June, GK Leaders participated in monthly workshops and meetings through the GK Transportation Careers Mentoring Program with the MTA and Department of Transportation. 

Community Schools

Careers in Sports High School: On May 23rd, approximately 60 seniors participated in the Career Day Senior BBQ that included professional panels discussing various careers. 

Bronxdale: On March 15th, 96 students in 10th grade visited and toured the United Nations learning about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as well as the process of peace. They also visited the Security Council Chambers and the General Assembly. 

William Cullen Bryant High School: On March 28th, four GK Leaders had the opportunity to participate in local government and meet with City Council Member, Costa Constantinides who serves on the council’s Environmental Protection Committee. GK Leaders engaged in discussion with the council member, asked him about legislation related to Climate Justice in NYC, and learned how they can get more involved in affecting local change.

GK-DC

Celebrating its 10th year this year, GK-DC worked hard in this final quarter of the program year! All GK Leaders at our program sites were busy creating action projects, preparing for the year-end youth forum, and attending enriching field trips, including the all-site annual NYC trip. On May 21st, GK-DC commemorated our annual Spring Celebration benefit which was attended by over 60 guests raising nearly $8,000 in funds. 

All-Site NYC Trip: On April 15th and 16th, a group of 39 GK Leaders traveled to New York City where they visited the Global Kids Headquarters and the United Nations, attended a Black History Walking Tour, participated in an interactive exchange visit between GK-DC and NYC middle schools, and concluded with a few key sightseeing activities. For 20 of our young people, this experience marked their first-ever trip outside of Washington, DC. 

GK-DC Youth Forum: On May 28th, GK Leaders from each DC program joined together for an end-of-the-year celebration at the University of DC-Bertie Backus Campus. GK Leaders showcased their action projects and work from the school year. We celebrated our seniors as they prepared to graduate and attend college. The special guest performance was Clarissa R. Corey-Bey who delighted GK Leaders with her funky, groovy sounds. The forum concluded with keynote speaker, Bunmi Akinnusoto who challenged our young people to consider what it means to be an ambassador and how they would advocate for issues that matter to them.

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! 

Apr 23, 2019

Global Kids 2019 Spring Update

Global Kids is beyond pleased to report that our GK Leaders this spring are civically engaged and exploring topics like criminal justice reform, environmental sustainability and environmental justice, women’s rights, issues affecting LGBTQ communities, racial identity, and human rights through workshops, field trips, guest speakers, one-on-one mentoring, and hands-on service-learning projects. Through Global Kids, our youth are attaining the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to succeed in school, participate effectively in the democratic process, and achieve leadership in their communities and our world. Below is a selection of our program highlights:

Social Movements to Defend Rights

This winter, GK students enrolled in after-school and in-school programs completed a module focusing on social movements to defend rights, with many of them focusing on issues of racial identity during Black History Month. As part of the module students also explored youth power, systemic oppression, sustainable development goals, and structural oppression.

The Human Rights Activist Project (HRAP)

Using a human rights framework, HRAP gives youth the tools they need to influence public policy. Students identify and research environmental issues and develop campaigns for social change, which includes public outreach, direct action, media strategies, meetings with elected officials, and networking with other organizations.

This year youth have been closely monitoring news on climate change, the Green New Deal, and emissions from large buildings in New York City. Students are exploring the Dirty Buildings Bill and Power Plants Bill and met with city council-member Costa Constantinides on March 28 at City Hall to discuss the bills and their impact on climate change. Students also traveled to Albany on April 9th where they presented their research and  lobbied for the Climate and Community Protection Act.

Digital Learning and Leadership (DLL)

Since 2000, Global Kids has been filling a void by bringing STEM curriculum to students in underserved communities. Global Kids’ Digital Learning & Leadership (DLL) program leverages technology and digital media tools to teach leadership skills and to promote local and global community building opportunities for high school, middle school and elementary school students. Global Kids’ digital media programs incorporate makerspace environments that use open source technologies such as Raspberry Pi’s, Scratch Software, and Makey-Makey kits to build students’ digital learning skills and explore careers in STEM.

This year Global Kids once again partnered with LinkNYC to create and display digital murals that highlight African-American accomplishments in STEM.Students utilized tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Fresh Paint to create images of underrepresented African American historical figures that were paired with biographies and displayed on LinkNYC kiosks throughout the city. Through this project, our students played a role in spreading awareness of important female STEM contributors.

Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Global Kids’ partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations, the world’s leading international affairs think tank, has given our young people unique access to some of the world’s leading foreign policy experts. Participating GK students attend round tables with experts in fields as varied as international relations, cryptocurrencies, and climate change. They are presented with opportunities to engage in discussions on a variety of complex topics including the current relationship between America and members of the international community, and possible solutions to diplomatically end conflicts and de-escalate tension between countries.

Preparation has begun for the 2019 CFR US World Summer Institute program. 20-30 participants will study foreign policy and international affairs issues including climate change, education, women’s rights, and the refugee crisis. After three weeks of workshops, industry meetings and trips, participants will present their projects to CFR members and additional foreign policy experts.

2019 Annual Youth Conference

The Global Kids Annual Youth Conference is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 23, 2019. Theconference is a youth-organized, youth-led event, which brings together more than 500 teenagers and educators from schools across New York City and beyond, to learn about the issues that are important to our youth. For Global Kids Leaders this day is the culmination of months of research, planning, training and organizing. Global Kids Leaders, along with speakers from around the world, will conduct workshops around the overarching theme of Criminal Justice Reform and cover topics including prisoners’ rights, race, poverty, the war on drugs, gender/LGBTQIA, migration, substance abuse, incarcerated minors, and prisoners of war/political prisoners. Plenary sessions will feature speakers, panels and creative performances designed to engage and familiarize participants with the major themes in the justice movement right now. We are proud of the hard work our students have put into the event and excited to see the event come to fruition.

Thank you for your interest in our Global Kids Leaders. We look forward to continue to share our students successes with you.

 
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