My name is Chan Mi and I recently graduated from Robert Service High School. This August I will be not be taking the traditional route of directly going to College. Instead, I will be heading to Ecuador as the first Alaskan to participate in the gap-year program called Global Citizen Year. Global Citizen Year is “designed to unleash the potential of the next generation of Americans to approach the rigors of higher education and the challenges of the 21st century with innovative, insightful, and effective leadership: Global Citizen Year.
This program allows High School Seniors—regardless of their financial situations—to participate in an eight-month-long homestay in one of three countries—Senegal, Ecuador, or Brazil—while taking part in an apprenticeship opportunity (in economic development, public health, the environment, or education). (Here’s a brief Youtube video with more information including some important links: Youtube link.)
Global Citizen Year aims to:
-Recruit a diverse corps of high-potential graduating seniors who defer college for one year to become Global Citizen Year Fellows
-Train our Fellows through an intensive, world-class curriculum in the U.S. and abroad
-Support them through immersive homestays and apprenticeships in communities across the developing world
-Connect Fellows with K-12 classrooms and their communities back home through blogs, videos from the field, and presentations upon return
-Forge a dynamic network of alumni who share a global perspective and a commitment to use their education to make a positive impact in whatever field they pursue
Global Citizen Year has gained recognition all over the country for both the amazing abroad experience it provides as well as the fact that it encourages an alternative path to higher education. It is also unique in that "over 80% of Fellows get some sort of financial aid, including a third who receive fully funded Fellowships"(globalcitizenyear.org). In fact, I am grateful to say that I am one of those students who've received full financial aid—over $30,000—which was only made possible by the fundraising of previous fellows! In essence, the full scholarship I received was covered by the money fundraised by previous Fellows, while the money I and my current Fellows raise this summer will be used to provide financial aid to future Fellows!
My summer campaign is to raise $2,500 (to help create a) pathway to an alternative route to higher education for future Alaskan students.