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Fall 2014
First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Global Kids Headquarters!
Mrs. Obama listening to GK Leaders speak about their experiences in Bosnia and Herzegovina

First Lady Michelle Obama paid a special visit to our headquarters in New York City in July and met with 23 Global Kids students who shared their work on critical domestic and foreign policy issues.  They also discussed their college and career goals with her and learned about her Reach Higher college initiative.


Annie Willis, a Global Kids student from Long Island City High School, had asked Mrs. Obama to visit Global Kids during the National Summer Learning Day Fair last June in Washington DC, and the First Lady agreed.  "I am so excited and thrilled that the First Lady kept her promise to come to Global Kids," said Annie.  "It's so wonderful she got to meet other Global Kids students who look up to her as a positive role model."


The event was widely covered by the press and social media from an NPR "Morning Edition" radio segment to local television news coverage to nearly a hundred tweets and re-tweets.  Former GK honoree Wes Moore tweeted, "Way to go @GlobalKids! @MichelleObama visited Global Kids during her time in #NYC today. What a great honor for a group doing fantastic work!"


"Global Kids is honored that First Lady Michelle Obama chose to meet with our students in New York City and wanted to learn more about our organization," said Evie Hantzopoulos, Global Kids' Executive Director.  "For the past 25 years, Global Kids has worked to help its students in underserved communities graduate high school and attend college through its innovative after-school and summer global education and leadership development programs.  Her visit with us is a wonderful validation of our work and the chance of a lifetime  for our students."


The Global Kids Leaders discussed peace and security, climate change, discrimination, poverty and other issues with Mrs. Obama. In an interview with WNYC reporter Gywnne Hogan, GK Leader Shyann Holder said,  "We were able to show her we know a lot about foreign policy.  Yeah, we're kids but we're thinking about making change in the long run."

Global Kids Students Take a Trip of a Lifetime


Last July, a group of 20 Global Kids students traveled to Bosnia and Herzegovina to explore media and society in collaboration with Bosnian peers, nearly 20 years after the Bosnian War.


In Sarajevo, the group met with youth leaders, activists and journalists.  They saw the progress that has been made in rebuilding the divided city of Mostar.  While in Sanski Most, the students and educators lived with host families and engaged in dialogue and participated in small group projects alongside Bosnian peers.


The exchange was made possible by a grant from the US Department of State's American Youth Leadership Program (AYLP), as part of efforts to empower young Americans.  The program emphasized the importance of intercultural understanding, the role of media in conflict, peace building and social change.


GK Students and Educators in Mostar


After attending a workshop on stereotypes, GK Leader and Curtis High School student, Salma Allam said, "We have to be aware of our behavior and do our part to humanize each other and not commit atrocities because of our differences."


Ranti Ogunleye, Global Kids' Senior Trainer, went to the region with Global Kids 17 years ago as a student and he returned to the area with the GK youth this summer.  He said, "I hope this trip provided a new lens for our young people to look at the world."


Climate Education in NYC Moves Forward and Global Kids Goes to the UN Climate Summit
Global Kids and Alliance for Climate Education youth and educators with Council Members Costa Constantinides and Donovan Richards after the introduction of the climate education bill.

For the past year, Global Kids students in our Human Rights Activist Project have been working to mandate climate education in New York City public schools.  On August 21, City Council Member Costa Constantinides introduced into Council chambers a resolution calling for climate change education in all New York City public schools.  Global Kids Leaders and educators were there to cheer him on and show their support for this vital issue.  The introduction of this resolution is a tremendous affirmation of GK students' hard work. They collected almost 3,000 signatures, educated peers and adults about this issue and organized the Global Kids climate change education rally at City Hall last June.


Back in May, GK Leader Eduardo Salgado, spoke to City Council Member Constantinides about Global Kids' commitment to climate change education and why it was important to him.  Eduardo invited him to the June rally.  The Council Member spoke at the event, along with Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, Donovan Richards.


The news media has taken notice of our GK Leaders' climate work. On August 27, The Weather Channel featured Global Kids highlighting GK Leaders' work on climate education and the preparation they are making for the People's Climate March.  Watch the fantastic segment here.


Beyond the media recognition and the NYC City Council resolution on climate education, Global Kids has recently garnered international recognition for its students' climate change work.  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has invited Global Kids to attend the UN Climate Summit on September 23.   Way to go GK Leaders!


A Busy Summer for our Online Leadership Team!

Global Kids' Online Leadership Program (OLP) did not stop for a break this summer!  They helped NYC youth learn important tech and digital media skills and made sure they were having fun while doing it.  Global Kids staff worked with youth at Exposure Camp in Mount Vernon, NY, The Point's Summer Youth Employment Program in the Bronx, and the Brooklyn Museum to create thoughtful, socially-conscious geo-locative games as part of Global Kids' NYC Haunts program.


Exposure Camp youth made a location-based game channeling the ghost of hip-hop artist and Mount Vernon native, Heavy-D to dispel some commonly-held stereotypes of the neighborhood.  


OLP Senior Associate Sara Vogel with students from The Point testing out their geo-locative game

Using MIT-created Taleblazer software, students from The Point designed a game about a 200 year-old slave burial ground in Hunts Point, making connections to issues of modern day human-trafficking.  


At the Brooklyn Museum, Global Kids students explored the museum and made games based on the exhibits.    


In addition, Global Kids' collaboration with Hofstra University, iDesign, ended its first year of programming with an intensive summer camp on the campus. During the camp, students and educators honed their game design and coding skills by building their own geo-locative games.  The students who participated in the summer camp will take leadership roles in this coming year's Global Kids iDesign program at schools throughout New York City and Long Island.  


Global Kids also hosted the first Movable Game Jam with HIVE NYC partners at Global Kids headquarters on August 13.  Over 40 students came to learn from game experts, design their own video games.  It was blast for everyone involved.


GK Students Dive Into Foreign Policy Issues at Global Kids' Summer Institute at the CFR

Gaza and Israel, Ukraine and Russia, ISIS and the US-- no topic was off limits at the three-week Global Kids Summer Institute at the Council on Foreign Relations. This year, 28 students delved into discussions and debates on critical issues and current events, as well as what the role of the United States should be in addressing them. Launched 10 years ago, this program engages students through workshops led by Global Kids staff, seminars by distinguished Council Fellows, interactions with guest experts, and the development of peer education projects on foreign policy issues.


GK Leader Lord Ansah presents a foreign policy topic
at the Summer Institute at the CFR
Global Kids welcomed many returning guest speakers including George Stephanopoulos,
ABC News Chief
Anchor; Former Secretary of the US Treasury, Robert Rubin; Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations; Julia Bacha, Creative Director of Just Vision; and Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.  

Students will be completing their projects projects on such topics as the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, global access to education, women's rights, and the crisis in Syria.  They'll present their final work to their peers in school this year.


Fantastic Launch of GK-AR

Thanks to the support of the Little Rock community, Global Kids launched a new two-week Summer Institute in Arkansas with eight local students.  During week one at the University of Arkansas' Clinton School of Public Service, Global Kids staff led workshops on human rights, foreign policy and global citizenship, and discussed the intersection of local and international issues.
GK-AR Youth in Little Rock, AR
In the second week, the group traveled to Costa Rica to gain a deeper understanding of issues such as racism, sustainability, community health and indigenous rights.  In partnership with the Hidden Garden Wellness Center in Puerto Viejo de Limon, youth met local community leaders, visited an organic farm, cooked healthy meals, visited a Jaguar Rescue Center, took part in yoga and capoeira classes and yes, went to the beach. To learn more about what the group accomplished on their travels, click here to watch their short documentary.


GK's Washington DC Summer Institute Explores Global Issues and Travels to Costa Rica


GK-DC Leaders learning cultural Latin dances in Costa Rica
For four weeks this summer at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 27 Global Kids-DC students explored human rights issues they were passionate about and connected those issues to challenges they experience in their communities.  Students visited the World Bank, USAID, the State Department and KPMG in DC to find out about careers in international affairs and develop work readiness skills. They also spent a day on Capitol Hill learning about advocacy and politics.  The youth contributed to Global Kids' Tumblr blog and several short documentary films covering four critical global topics: gender equality, immigration, mass consumption, and education.  

When they completed their work in DC, eight GK students headed to Costa Rica to learn about the Afro-Caribbean and indigenous people of the region, sustainable agriculture, and US-Latin American relations, among many other topics.

GK Travels to Argentina to Learn About Local Climate Change Work


Global Kids students Mitchell Gonzalez and Anthony Neciosup from Long Island City High School along with GK Staff Damelvy Rodriguez, traveled to Argentina this past July representing the US in the Sustainaware Initiative. 

GK Leaders Anthony Neciosup and Mitchell Gonzalez at the airport on their way to Argentina

Sustainaware is a project that connects partner youth organizations from eight different countries to promote the inclusion of young people in the local, transnational and international decision-making process of sustainable development

Mitchell and Anthony explored how local Argentine communities are trying to stop climate change and they learned how to engage young people around the world on the issue of environmental sustainability through a job shadowing/internship experience. 


In This Issue:
First Lady Michelle Obama
GK Travels to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Climate Education Gets a Boost
Busy Summer for OLP
Global Kids' Summer Institute at the CFR
Launch of GK-AR
GK-DC Summer Institute
GK Travels to Argentina for Climate Awareness


Global Kids has been chosen to be a featured partner organization for WNET's "American Graduate Day."   The program will air on September 27.  It is a huge honor to be a part of this public media initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help more kids stay on the path to graduation.  Watch us on your local PBS station on September 27!


Global Kids is back in many of our old sites and is expanding to new ones for the 2014-2015 school year.  Here is a list of our sites in NYC and DC so far:

Bell Multicultural High School


Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy- Capitol Hill Campus

Friendship Collegiate Academy 
McKinley Technology High School 

Academy of American Studies

Academy of Health Careers

Boys and Girls High School

Bronxdale High School

Brooklyn Insitute for Liberal Arts

Curtis High School

Essex Street Academy

Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School

Global Neighborhood Secondary School

High School for Arts and Business

High School for Global Citizenship

High School for Medical Professions

High School for Public Service

Humanities Prep

International Arts Business School

International High School at LaGuardia

International High School at Union Square

James Baldwin School

John Adams High School

New Directions Secondary School

P.S. 109

Pathways College Prep School

Renaissance Charter School

School for Democracy and Leadership

School for Human Rights

Secondary School for Law

Urban Assembly Institute for New Technologies

Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School

West Brooklyn Community School

William Cullen Bryant High School

This year is the 25th Anniversary of Global Kids.  Help us continue our vital work.  Support Global Kids today!


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