Jan 25, 2019

A Look Back on GK's Lively Fall 2018

Global Kids wasted no time getting the school year off to a busy start exploring issues including global health, poverty, climate change, environmental justice, discrimination, and human rights through workshops, field trips, guest speakers, mentoring, and hands-on service projects. We are proud to see our youth demonstrate the values of global citizens and develop the knowledge, skills, and motivation to participate in shaping public policy in an ever-changing, complex world.The following report highlights just a few of our students’ accomplishments from Fall 2018.

GK Leaders Fight for Climate Justice at COP 24

Four Global Kids Leaders from John Adams High School, William Cullen Bryant High School, High School of Medical Professions and The Beacon School traveled to Katowice, Poland from December 4th through December 12th for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP 24. As an official conference exhibitor, our GK Leaders facilitated interactive workshops about water pollution at two local Polish Schools in partnership with the Japan-based human rights organization Peace Boat. Our GK Leaders together with Polish students participated in discussions on methods for spreading climate change awareness.

GK’s COP 24 experience culminated with the climate march where our students came together with many environmental organizations and activists to demand climate justice. The experience proved transformative for our participants. One GK Leader Luis Guaman expressed, “I’ve learned from COP 24 that we are capable of doing anything if we work together. It was an amazing experience to meet many people from around the world working towards the same goal - to reduce carbon emissions and work for a sustainable future.”

Action Civics!

Civic engagement was a key component in the activities and student action projects our students participated in and developed this Fall: Q300 middle schoolers conducted an election day action project which involved interviewing voters about their choices and key issues of concern; youth from William Cullen Bryant High School volunteered at Floating Hospital; students from Careers in Sports High School conducted a peer survey to determine what kind of new school clubs they would like to see, the High School for Public Service hosted a school-wide voter registration, and a faux election day took place at the High School for Global Citizenship to encourage youth to register and exercise the right to vote. In addition, students showcased their creativity by designing peer education posters describing the history of youth-led movements for distribution on school campuses.

College-bound GK Leaders

Through Global Kids’ College and Career Readiness Program, students began their research on colleges, financial aid, choice of majors, internship opportunities, and application submissions. A college kickoff event was held at our headquarters and at GK school sites which provided support and resources regarding college selection and the application process.

Global Kids organized out of town trips for over 170 students to visit universities and colleges during the fall months. Trips included campus tours, college student interactions, learning about majors, and financial aid sessions. This fall our students visited: Pace University, Cooper Union, The New School, SUNY Cobleskill, Union College, SUNY Albany College, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Wentworth Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts, and Monroe College.

Japan and South Africa Talk Back Events

In November, Global Kids hosted an event, Global Kids: Youth Ambassadors in Japan, to hear from students who took part in the summer’s service learning trip to Japan. Our students detailed their exploration of themes including radiation, water quality, and community health, described the lessons they learned from Futaba Mirai School students regarding their efforts to change public perception of their community following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and shared their video projects that documented stories of community resilience. Global Kids is grateful to the TOMODACHI Initiative and the Japan Foundation for making the trip possible.

In collaboration with the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute and the D.C. Department of Employment Services, fifteen GK youth participated in a panel discussion where they described their experiences from their two-week summer trip to South Africa and showed their video documentary project.

Oct 31, 2018

A look back on an exciting summer with Global Kids

A look back on an exciting summer with Global Kids!

The new school year is upon us and we at Global Kids are looking forward to another action packed year full of innovative in-school and out-of-school programming. As our students and trainers concentrate on setting the foundation for another great year, many are also reflecting on GK’s exciting 2018 summer. Below are some of the highlights:

U.S. in the World Summer Institute Ends on a High Note

In July, twenty-one students participated in the U.S. in the World Summer Institute’s 2018 session held at the Council on Foreign Relations. Participants studied foreign policy and international affairs issues including: climate change, education, women’s rights, the refugee crisis, and the nuclear disarmament of North Korea. After three weeks of workshops, industry meetings and trips, the Summer Institute ended on a high note when students presented their peer education projects to Chelsea Clinton and members of the Clinton Foundation team. The Clinton Foundation’s expert feedback on students’ projects generated an insightful discussion that paved the way for further study.

 Global Kids: Youth Ambassadors in Japan

In partnership with the TOMODACHI Initiative and the Japan Foundation, nine Global Kids Leaders became part of the TOMODACHI Generation and traveled to Japan’s Tohoku region for a 10-day educational and cultural exchange journey in August. On the trip students explored themes of radiation, water quality and community health. Activities included:

  • Learning from Futaba Mirai School students about their efforts to change public perception of their community following the Fukushima nuclear disaster
  • Documenting stories of community resilience
  • Participating in homestays that exposed our young people to other facets of Japanese life including new foods, culture and sights

 Pura Vida

Deforestation, indigenous medicine, and AfroCaribbean culture were just some of the topics explored during a Global Kids trip to Costa Rica. Six Global Kids Leaders from New Explorers High School and two staff members spent a week exploring ecological and environmental sustainability in partnership with Hidden Garden Wellness Center. Highlights of the trip included:

  • Meeting with former Costa Rican congressman Edwin Patterson
  • A cultural exchange with El Cole High School students
  • Afro-Latin dance and drumming lessons
  • Viewing of a historical play presented by the Watsi Indigenous Theatre Group.

 From DC to South Africa

From July 26th through August 9th, fifteen Global Kids Leaders from the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute (MBYLI) in Washington, D.C. embarked on a two-week service-learning trip to South Africa. The students spent five days in Cape Town and six days in Johannesburg engaging with politicians, activists, U.S. government officials, community leaders, and South African youth. The jam-packed travel itinerary included:

  • Visiting the District Six Museum and surrounding neighborhood with a former resident who lived under apartheid
  • Tasting various South African cuisine from brais (BBQ) to Cape Malay food
  • Visiting the Robben Island prison cell of Nelson Mandela where he spent seventeen years of his life
  • A discussion about careers in foreign affairs with former GK Board Member and United States diplomat Kimberly McClure.

 Onward and Upward!

After a summer of international travel and productive study of international affairs, Global Kids is ramping up for an exciting fall. We look forward to sharing the experiences from our Global Kids’ Leaders as they continue to embody the values of informed global citizens.

Aug 2, 2018

An Enriching Summer with Global Kids

GK Leaders at the Annual Youth Conference
GK Leaders at the Annual Youth Conference

 Hello, Summer!

Global Kids Leaders finished the school year strong by continuing to learn about and educate others on the issues most important to them. Our students have kept up the momentum this summer by participating in meaningful experiences that will keep shaping them into global leaders.

Global Kids Annual Youth Conferences Are a Success!

GK Leaders spent months putting in hard work to plan and facilitate the workshops at the Global Kids Annual Youth Conference on April 20th. This year, the conference focused on the theme of Environmental Justice.

Students chose to explore climate change through a social justice lens in order to raise awareness of the environmental issues they face in their own communities. The neighborhoods they live in often lack green spaces and have high rates of asthma, and many were severely impacted by SuperStorm Sandy. Conference workshops and topics included environmental racism, the abuse of indigenous lands, and the global water crisis. Youth across the city who have been participating in the Human Rights Activist Project (HRAP), Undesirable Elements, and Power of Citizenry programs gathered to present talks and performances related to the central theme.

Youth from GK-DC facilitated the third Annual GK-DC Youth Conference on May 25th to discuss their chosen theme of Education. Workshop topics included School Safety, School Inequality, and Impacts of Gentrification and allowed the participants to further develop their leadership and public speaking skills.

Female and LGBTQ+ Empowerment At the Forefront

Throughout the school year, students have been engaging in dialogue about women’s and LGBTQ+ rights in the global sphere. Middle school students at PS 109 planned and facilitated the second annual Girl Empowerment Conference, where students ages 9 to 14 were invited to a day of workshops dedicated to empowering young women to advocate for themselves. The day culminated with a panel that included speakers from various non-profit organizations and New York City schools, and our students asked many thoughtful questions about confidence, growth, and pathways to success.

High school students attending the weekly leadership program were also fortunate to be visited by New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera, and discussed many social issues with her, including her efforts to implement stronger LGBTQ+ health services in NYC hospitals.

Middle Schoolers’ Initiatives Went to Ballot- and Won!

Global Kids leaders at PS 96 noticed a need for new water filters and water bottle filling stations at their own school, as well as other schools in their district. After learning about the participatory budget process, they engaged with City Council Member Diana Alaya to get the initiative added to the ballot. Understanding the importance of carrying out their civic responsibility, students mobilized over 100 peers to vote on the proposal, and achieved their goal of getting new water fountains and bottle filling stations installed at PS 96 and eight other East Harlem schools.

Gear Up for Summer Camp with GK

Global Kids is running summer camps at 5 middle school sites in New York City: Q300, Manhattan East, Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, PS/IS 109, and The School for Human Rights. Activities include field trips to local museums, arts and crafts projects, outdoor team-building challenges, and sports.

The High School for Global Citizenship is running a Summer Bridge Program to prepare incoming students for success in high school. Students are provided with the platform and tools to ensure a seamless transition into high school.

Incoming 9th graders at Bronxdale High School’s Summer Bridge Program used VR to travel to Ethiopia and Somalia to learn about the lack of access to clean water, and how famine affects millions of people worldwide. They also partnered with MNDFL in Manhattan to get tips on dealing with stress and anxiety. Field trips so far have included the Brooklyn Grange in Long Island City to find out more about where food comes from.

International Law & Foreign Policy Summer Institutes

After a rigorous application process, 30 students were invited to spend three weeks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City as a part of an intensive summer institute program learning about and discussing foreign policy and global affairs. The program consisted of workshops and guest lectures covering topics such as climate change, cyber security, the refugee crisis, and global feminism. Site visits included the New York Times and the Clinton Foundation, where participants had the opportunity to present workshop pitches on global issues to Chelsea Clinton, and see US Ambassador Nikki Haley at the US Mission to the United Nations.

In Washington DC, GK has been hosting a six-week foreign policy summer institute that further explores the themes that students have been discussing throughout the school year. A cohort of motivated future global leaders are coming together to engage in service learning activities, participate in interactive workshops about current events, attend weekly field trips to learn more about international careers and scholarship opportunities, develop media skills by creating a film about being a 21st century global citizen, and enhance their leadership development.

GK’s Influence Travels Far and Wide- to South Africa and Japan!

For the fourth consecutive year, GK-DC participants are visiting three cities in South Africa over a two-week period: Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. Students are engaging in a service-learning and leadership development initiative.

Through a partnership with the TOMODACHI initiative, young people from NYC and Japan will have the opportunity to collaborate through a 10-day international exchange program to participate in environmentally-focused service learning and positive youth development experiences. After participating in a three-week institute on topics ranging from Japanese history and culture, digital media production, US-Japan relations, and environmental resilience, Global Kids’ nine program participants are traveling as TOMODACHI ambassadors first to Tokyo and then to Japan’s Tohoku region. Together with their Japanese peers from Futaba Mirai High School in Fukushima, program participants are conducting a social action project that explores the real and imagined impacts of the 2011 nuclear disaster in the region.

Check out our Flickr page for updates throughout the summer and to keep up with our leaders on their travels! Remember to check back in with Global Kids in the Fall for the exciting afterschool programs! 

NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera visits GK!
NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera visits GK!


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