Global Citizen Year Launches Accessible Gap Year Alternative

Global Citizen Year, a non-profit committed to normalizing a new—and better—path from high school into young adulthood today announces the launch of Global Citizen Year Academy.

Global Citizen Year Academy is an intensive leadership experience, equipping 2020 high school graduates with powerful and practical skills for a lifetime of social impact.

With colleges and universities unlikely to be back to normal this fall, more than 2 million U.S. 2020 high school graduates who planned to go directly to college now face an uncertain future. In recent weeks, interest in gap years has surged. But until now, there have been few—if any—concrete and accessible solutions for young people to make the most of this year in the context of COVID-19.

Anchored in Global Citizen Year’s decade of experience wrapping education and instruction around real-world experience, Global Citizen Academy adapts their transformative learning model to address the demands of our shared global crisis. Designed in partnership with Minerva Project, the program offers courses that are accredited through Minerva Schools at KGI. The innovative teaching methods and curriculum are responsive and relevant to this historic moment, and taught via ForumTM, Minerva’s premier immersive virtual-learning environment. Through an engaging blend of academic and experiential learning, workshops with leading innovators, and collaboration with peers from around the world, students will develop the insights and interdisciplinary skills that are the foundation for success in college — and beyond. With Global Citizen Academy, the combined expertise of both organizations brings leadership training to a new level.

“The power skills of the future—agency, adaptability, empathy and courage—cannot be taught in a classroom alone,” says Global Citizen Year Founder and CEO, Abby Falik. “We have pioneered a model that addresses the gaps in our old educational paradigm. Today, we’re honored to partner with Minerva Project in an ambitious undertaking to ensure that this year isn’t a ‘gap’, but a year on purpose for a critical mass of emerging leaders from around the world.”

The Academy will feature:

  • Diverse international cohort: A selective admissions process will identify determined and hopeful young people who represent society’s diversity. Selection criteria screen for a commitment to self-reflection, learning, and collaboration, not test scores or grades.
  • Sliding scale tuition: A unique, sliding scale fee structure invites families to pay what they can, ensuring that the experience is accessible to exceptional young people from all socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Courses in the skills that matter most: Faculty-led sessions addressing topics from effective communication and systems thinking, to mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and ethical decision-making, are designed to help students learn about themselves, the world around them, and how to have a meaningful impact.
  • Inspiration from today’s most impactful leaders and innovators: Weekly sessions taught by today’s most innovative leaders across business, philanthropy, government, and social change will provide insight and perspective on the challenges and opportunities of our global crisis.
  • Personalized mentorship: Individualized coaching will complement the core coursework, unlocking students’ potential as purposeful leaders.

“Global Citizen Year has been nurturing young leaders through a transformative global experience for over a decade,” said Minerva Project Founder and CEO, Ben Nelson. “Through this partnership, Minerva is excited about reaching new students with an innovative approach to learning that we have been developing for the past eight years. Global Citizen Academy promises to help a select group of passionate learners make purposeful strides during this very difficult time.”

By design, Global Citizen Academy will require a 10-15 hours per week commitment, leaving space for students to simultaneously engage in the issues and projects they’re passionate about, or earn income. Whether students choose to dedicate time to working on voter registration, the climate crisis, or COVID-19 response, Global Citizen Academy will provide an empowering layer of structure and support—helping students connect with their people, their purpose, and their power to shape the future.

Rather than lament the forced “gap year” many are facing, Global Citizen Academy embraces this historic moment for what it can be: a once-in-a-generation opportunity to launch a new force of leaders who represent our society’s diversity, are equipped to work across lines of difference, and are committed to advancing the greater good.

The inaugural semester of Global Citizen Academy will run from August 31 – December 18, 2020.


Previously published on PR Newswire.


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