Going Global with Local High School Students!

Where can a Puget Sound area high school student go to:

  • Interact with adults representing a variety of international careers?
  • Role play the part of a Pakistani Army general in the wake of a terrorist attack?
  • Take on the perspective of a developing country leader seeking international business investment?
  • Join forces with other students who share a passion for global learning?

During the week of June 27 – July 1, the World Affairs Council’s Global Classroom program facilitated the fourth annual Global Youth Leadership Institute (GYLI) at the University of Washington. Participants included 34 students in grades 9-11 from 14 public, private, and parent partner schools in the greater Seattle region.  GYLI participants are dedicated students who elect to give up a week of their summer to learn about global issues and to pursue their passion for making the world a better place.

The goal of GYLI is to encourage and assist high school students in learning about current global issues, while developing their leadership skills. The Institute culminates in students drafting Global Awareness Project plans for the upcoming school year.

Examples of previous Global Awareness Projects include: starting a global issues club, holding a fundraiser for malaria prevention, and hosting a film night featuring a global issue documentary.

GYLI students participated in a wide range of activities including a career panel with 6 speakers representing different international fields, leadership exercises, interactive workshops and activities, a field trip to Seattle’s World Relief office to participate in the Refugee Project simulation, and expert presentations on a range of global issues. GYLI students attended a discussion on HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa with His Excellency Mr. Festus Gontebanye Mogae, former President of Botswana, and participated in a webinar withTatyana Prilepina, a media/communications professional in Kazakhstan. Other 2011 speakers included: Tarek Dawoud (The Islamic Speakers’ Bureau of Seattle), Bidisha Biswas (Professor of Political Science at Western Washington University), and Commissioner Robert Holland (Port of Seattle). Outside of the classroom, GYLI participants actively engaged with members of the community by promoting awareness of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.

The Global Classroom staff is looking forward to working with GYLI students over the summer and into the 2011-12 school year to provide support for the implementation of Global Awareness Projects. Check out Global Classroom’s GYLI Facebook page for more information, and for fantastic photos of GYLI activities during the week of the summer institute!

GYLI is made possible by the generous support of UW INSER (Institute for National Security  Education and Research), Global Classroom donors, and World Affairs Council members.