Join us at American University. July 20 – August 2, 2014!

Global Scholar is an intensive global leadership program for high school students who are eager to build a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. We empower aspiring young leaders with a firm understanding of global challenges, confidence in their ability to lead others, and the skills and vision to make change happen. Join us!  

Global Scholar is a fast-paced, skills-focused program that empowers young global leaders to confront the biggest challenges facing our generation, while building their own leadership, professional and personal skills. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, youth must be global citizens and possess a firm understanding of the inherent connection between global and local issues. Global Scholars gain insights and skills that will support them as students, citizens and professionals in whatever career they pursue. Program highlights include:

  • Policy Seminars with experts working on the biggest global challenges facing our generation, including security, climate change, global hunger, the global economy, protecting the rights of women and girls, ensuring education for all, providing access clean water, and more. We also spend time unpacking the global system itself, including the role of actors like the UN, World Bank and G8, alongside states and citizens.    
  • A Global Leadership Seminar, to build the skills young leaders need to inspire and motivate groups, envision social change, and build effective programs and projects.
  • A Global Crisis Simulation, during which Scholars role play states, civil society actors and the media’s response to a realistic global incident.
  • A Strategic Communications Seminar, covering basics for motivating the public around issues, working with both print and social media, developing effective messages, and social marketing. This seminar includes intensive workshops on public speaking and persuasive writing.
  • A Social Change and Innovation Clinic, during which Scholars will learn the nuts and bolts of developing public policy, launching a social enterprise, and crafting a campaign. The clinic culminates with Scholars developing a project or campaign to launch in their own community. Often, these are really initiatives Scholars launch upon the completion of the program (although that’s not required!).
  • Career Planning Seminar, including a panel with young professionals working in government, corporations and NGOs, as well as a workshop on resume-writing and charting your professional and personal path.
  • Visits to Embassies, World Bank, think tanks, and other D.C. institutions. In recent years Scholars have met the Ambassadors from Afghanistan, Bahrain, China and more, toured the World Bank, USAID and State Department, and met with fellows at the Brookings Institution, New America Foundation and UN Foundation.
  • Personal meetings with Senate offices on Capitol Hill. At the end of the two week session, students use their skills and knowledge to lobby their senators’ offices on an issue important to them. Past participants have discussed discuss foreign policy challenges including the global food crisis and child marriage with their senators, as well as domestic policy that has global implications.
  • And of course, exploring beautiful Washington D.C. in the summertime! Last year we visited the Smithsonian Museums and Kennedy Center, went to a Nationals Game, and checked out fireworks on the National Mall!

We also partner with leading organizations working on global issues, to provide Scholars with an up-close snapshot of what it’s like to pursue a career in international affairs, mobilize the public around global issues, and work in Washington, D.C. In 2013, our partner organizations included: Care, Action Aid, the Stanley Foundation and the Global Campaign for Education.

Global Scholar is the only summer program on global issues that offers a robust mix of both seminars and skillbuilding workshops; we believe that students shouldn’t just get informed, they should get activated to build a better world.

Our successes:
Participants reported amazing increases in their ability and confidence to effect change. Last year, one hundred percent reported they were more confident identifying problems that need to be addressed in their community, and figuring out what they can do about them. They also overwhelmingly reported increases in their:

  • Confidence leading groups
  • Skills for making change happen
  • Understanding of the power of youth

Our graduates have gone on to do amazing things. A 2011 Scholar is now the President of the Sophomore Class at Columbia University. A 2012 Scholar is now the Coordinator of the AIDemocracy network (our parent organization), while also attending a joint BA/MD honors program at Brooklyn College. Another is launching a version of Global Scholar in her home country of Ghana, and several others have  embarked on prestigious gap-year programs in the Middle East, South America and/or Asia before starting college. Many of our graduates have stayed involved with us following the conclusion of the program.

Check out some quotes from our 2013 participants:

Global Scholar was a great way for me to learn more about global issues while simultaneously learning how to reach out and help to fix [challenges] in my community.

Global Scholar far exceeded my expectations! I learned so much, and had fun doing it. I definitely feel more equipped to tackle global issues.

At Global Scholar, you can learn how normal people, the foundation of democracy and great movements in history, can change our world for the better.

An incredible learning experience that helps broaden horizons!

After participating in Global Scholar, I have a more critical eye of world events and global issues. I don’t just accept what is written in the news. I can now read between the lines and think about why a problem happened, who is affected and how it might be resolved.

What makes our programs different? There are lots of great programs out there. Here’s how we’re different:

  • We focus on building global leaders who have both the knowledge and the skills to make our world a better place. Most programs just offer coursework. We go beyond the classroom to offer extensive leadership, communications and advocacy training — all of the skills you can’t gain through a purely academic program. Scholars also meet and learn from experts and practitioners working on some of the greatest global challenges facing us today. They also draft real projects or campaigns as part of our social change and innovation clinic.
  • We’re affordable. You’ll find that our programs are significantly less expensive than almost any competitor program (often by as much as half!). This isn’t a business for us; we’re not out to charge students and their families exorbitant fees to participate. Rather, we see this program as our contribution to empowering a generation to build a better world. We offer scholarships (over 30% of participants receive assistance), and can help you fundraise from family and friends to attend.
  • The Global Scholar experience extends way beyond the session. Scholars have access to year-round workshops and training opportunities. Our broader network is also eager to help Scholars implement their projects / campaigns in their community.

Contact us to find out more: globalscholar@aidemocracy.org or 202.709.6172.

Most of our participants are rising high school juniors and seniors. Please get in touch to discuss whether it’s a good fit for you!