Global Visionaries Programs
Global Visionaries is one organization based in two countries focused on four critical areas: youth empowerment, social justice, environmental sustainability and international cooperation. As a community of young adults, educators, parents and social activists, we’ve developed holistic programs centered on empowering youth as agents of change and equipping them with tools to tackle global issues by promoting cross-cultural understanding and cultivating youth leadership. Below are listed three of our available programs. Visit our website at www.global-visionaries.org for a full list.
The First Year Leadership Program brings together socio-economically and ethnically diverse groups of high school students to examine global citizenship and community leadership. Its five major components include:
- Pro-justice (diversity), cross-cultural and leadership training
- Participation in local Seattle volunteer teams
- Philanthropic training
- Ecological footprint awareness and reduction
- International cultural immersion/volunteer work in Guatemala
The Global Leadership (GL) Class is an experiential leadership course where students engage their local communities and take concrete environmental action in their own lives. At Cleveland and Chief Sealth high schools, students enrolled in the GL class exhibit higher attendance and achievement levels relative to their peers. A component of the course is the "Adopt-A-School" program, where every three weeks, GL students demonstrate understanding by teaching what they’ve learned to 5th graders.
Youth Board (YB): A Catalyst for Social Entrepreneurs and Global Citizens
Alumni of the first year leadership program provide peer education and mentor current first year leadership students. YB members develop skills and knowledge by co-directing Global Visionaries and its programs and interacting with the larger community; the YB meets with community leaders, asks difficult questions and contributes time and ideas. Its members forge their own paths to becoming global citizens.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In January, 2013, Global Visionaries was one of 20 organizations in Washington state to be featured in Seattle International Foundation's Global Giving Guide. The Guide "highlights the work of 20 organizations making a real difference around the world" which have been vetted by the Seattle International Foundation "by examining their mission, leadership, efficiency, and impact."
On May 12th, 2011, GV Executive Director Christopher Fontana was named the winner of the 2011 Red Winged Leadership Award. The award, which was given by the Seattle University Albers School of Business and Economics, is intended to "honor leaders committed to embracing the unique intersection where leadership, business acumen, and social impact overlap."
In November 2011, GV completed its 2nd Experience Guatemala All-ages Tour combining the expertise of Rick Steve’s guides and travel philosophy with the mission of GV. Three trips are planned for 2012-13; two of which are already filled.
As of 2011, GV has reached a milestone, where over 1,000 Seattle area students have completed the cultural immersion experience in Guatemala with us as part of our first year leadership program. Since 2004, these young leaders have served 147,000 hours, during which time they have planted 17,500 trees, built 19 school rooms and raised $190,000 for scholarships and projects.
Current Funding Needs
Increase Need-based Program Scholarships for At-Risk Local Youth
Global Visionaries will continue to increase the amount of need-based scholarships to students who receive free and reduced lunches at school (i.e., those at the lowest income levels) to enable them to have equal access to our leadership program. As of 2009, GV reached its benchmark of ensuring that 50% of all participants are from low-income families. Since making our first scholarship in 2003, we have increased total annual awards from $1,600 to $115,000 in the current school year.
We will provide $150,000 in scholarships for the 2012-13 school year, for which we will need your support and partnership.
Expand Financial Support for Guatemala Youth Leadership Program
GV provides full financial support to low-income Guatemalan teenage participants in our Guatemala leadership program. These young leaders fulfill high school graduation requirements through service and academic research projects developed in partnership with GV and receive critical leadership training needed for them to transform Guatemalan society.