Nonprofit aims to give young people a global perspective

Three minute interview: Abby Falik

The founder and CEO of the recently launched San Francisco-based nonprofit Global Citizen Year is helping give young people an opportunity to work as apprentices in Asia, Africa and Latin America for a year between high school and college.

What prompted the creation of Global Citizen Year? As a kid, I was fortunate to have opportunities to live and work in the developing world. It was these early experiences that did more to shape my sense of myself and understanding of the world than anything I’ve ever learned in a classroom.

How do students fund their trips? We assess financial need according to each family’s ability to pay, and we provide generous financial support to students who need it. Additionally, each of our students are required to raise $2,000 toward the cost of their participation.

Do you offer scholarships? In our first year’s class, 100 percent of our Fellows are receiving some level of financial support. It is very important to us that we can ensure that all qualified students have access.

Where do the students travel to? For our inaugural year, we have cohorts of Fellows in Guatemala and Senegal.

What are the advantages of taking a gap year between high school and college? When students take a year to learn about themselves and the world before college, they are more mature, more focused and better prepared to approach higher education with passion.

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