Global Citizen Year Announces Partnerships with Chicago and DC Public School Districts

Global Citizen Year, a transformative gap year experience for tomorrow’s global changemakers, is thrilled to announce new partnerships with two of the largest urban school districts in the country: Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Washington D.C. Public Schools (DCPS).

Through these partnerships, both CPS and DCPS are leading district-wide recruitment to identify talented high school seniors to apply for a Global Citizen Year Fellowship. From a pool of nominated candidates, Global Citizen Year will select up to 10 graduating seniors from each district to receive full scholarships to join Global Citizen Year.

Global Citizen Year Founder and CEO Abby Falik says: “Preparing young people for today’s world demands a new paradigm of teaching and learning, one that wraps instruction around real-world experience. It’s incredibly exciting to see Chicago and DC leading the nation in 21st century education by offering this transformative experience to CPS and DCPS graduates.”

Last year the CPS district announced a new initiative called Learn.Plan.Succeed., which guides success for students after high school by requiring students to develop a postsecondary plan. CPS believes that a meaningful gap year can be an effective on-ramp to college for many students, but that few seniors in the district currently have sufficient information or resources to pursue this option.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson says: “Global Citizen Year will provide Chicago students with the unique opportunity to experience other cultures through a formal gap year program that will help set the foundation for future success.”

The Washington D.C. Public School District leads the nation in offering students a hands-on global learning experience during high school. Over 1,400 students and educators have participated in DCPS Study Abroad to date. When students return home, DCPS reports than many are excited about a more extended global experience after high school.  

“DCPS finds that after their summer study abroad experience, students are more likely to apply to and enroll in a 4-year college, and are often motivated to pursue a longer global immersion experience after graduating from high school. Global Citizen Year’s 8-month Fellowship is the perfect next step for students who recognize that a global perspective and real-world experience will help them thrive in college and careers.” – Director, Global Education, Jesse Nickelson.

The Global Citizen Year Fellowship will position Chicago and Washington D.C. as the first school districts in the country to model how a well-designed global gap year can:

  • Strengthen students’ sense of purpose and self-confidence, positioning them to maximize their time in college;
  • Prepare high school graduates to expand their worldview, strengthen their professional skill set, and succeed in 21st century careers;
  • Create a pipeline of future global leaders in all sectors who truly reflect the diversity of our society.

As Global Citizen Year breaks new ground with these innovative school districts, we are excited about the opportunity to rally local support for a city-based scholarship fund in both Washington D.C. and Chicago. Looking forward, we see these partnerships as a model for how we can join forces with forward-thinking school districts across the country.

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Global Citizen Year is moving forward as part of our new, larger brand: Tilting Futures. New name, same mission, expanded programs and impact.