Kamrie’s NGC Journey

When I first entered high school, my idea of community service involved volunteering at the library and collecting cans for a food drive. Although these are undeniably good deeds, they are restrained to a local scale; I had no idea what was going on globally. Why would I? It was not like a mere 9th-grader could have made a change big enough in the world anyway. Global issues were for the big characters in the world to deal with.

Each of the years I have been in NGC has taught me how very wrong I was. NGC has truly made me a global citizen, one who is not only aware of the global issues, but also that strong individuals all around the world are making improvements, and that I too, can be one of these individuals. I learned the power of awareness, and how it can spark more individuals to make a change. I learned the importance of sustainability, without which, change would be temporary. From the advocacy and community education projects for NGC, I have developed strong leadership and public speaking skills. Such skills have proven to be extremely helpful beyond high school.

New Global Citizens is not an ordinary school club. We are youth teams spread nationally, reaching internationally, promoting a positive outlook on global change.

Kamrie and her NGC Team!

Kamrie and her fellow NGC Team!

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Kamrie Yeung.

Compassion: Building A Path Towards A Better Future

The following post was written by New Global Citizens Director of Programs Lisa Glenn
Lisa with her class in South Africa

Lisa with her class in South Africa

The world needs more compassion.
After graduating college, I found myself in Johannesburg, South Africa, serving out of a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship at University of the Witwatersrand.
For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by people unlike me in every imaginable way–a big departure from my small town Southern upbringing. Johannesburg is a city of roughly 5 million people, and like the rest of South Africa, has eleven official languages and multitudes of ethnic and religious groups. As a newly minted college graduate, I was definitely in a world I didn’t understand.
It was easy to become disoriented, homesick, or jaded by the bustling crowds and unimaginable poverty. But in this confusing new place, I was lucky to find a friend. Elizabeth was a middle-aged teacher from Botswana also studying education with me at Wits. She was also unlike me in many ways. She had grown up in Africa in a much more impoverished situation than myself. She spoke Setswana, English, and some Afrikaans. We had very little in common from a first encounter. But on one campus bus ride home from class, we found our common ground.
“Eish, I’m so homesick!” Elizabeth said to me. “It is so hard for me to leave my family and to be so far away. But who am I to tell you? Your family is even further away than mine! Shame! How are you doing with all this change?”
From then on, we spent rides home and evenings studying and giggling like elementary schoolers.
 
Lisa with friends in Mozambique

Lisa with friends in Mozambique

Elizabeth’s friendship and compassion, so unexpected, opened me up to see the similarities between my world and the new world that I had walked into. Through such an unexpected friendship, I was able to see that my hopes and fears weren’t that unlike those of others across the world. Elizabeth wanted to finish her degree, return to her family (she had two adorable kids), and make the world a little better as a teacher. My friendship with Elizabeth taught me that compassion shown to another human can open up doors you might never imagine. 

 
Being a humanitarian isn’t about saving the world or doing all the right things. It’s about being a human who is fundamentally “for” other humans. It’s believing that we are more defined by our similarities than our differences, and that when we find those similarities, we can see each other as partners and advocates instead of adversaries or competitors.
Compassion enables us to work toward a better future for all.  

Lisa right of Nelson Mandela stature

Lisa right of Nelson Mandela stature

 
Elizabeth and I were able to live out our compassion for each other by being around when the other was homesick. Elizabeth would make me traditional Motswana food while I edited her writing (English was one of several languages for her). We would make sure to meet each other at the bus. Years after leaving South Africa, I am still struck by Elizabeth’s compassion. She now works as the Head of School at a rural school in Botswana which has been hit hard by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Many of her students are orphans, many arrive without proper nutrition, and few have not been affected in some way by this terrible disease. Elizabeth lives out her days as a true humanitarian by offering compassion through the act of education to children who desperately need someone to be “for” them. 
 
Humanitarianism is ubuntu. I am because you are because we are. 
Comment to share your voice on the importance on compassion and share the post via social media with the world! 

Teacher to Teacher: Global Competency

Image

Taken by Team Mentor Noemi Gonzalez

Written by Lisa Glenn, NGC’s Education Coordinator, for ANEE 

Globalization. From turning off the alarm clock made in a distant land to
communicating effectively with the person in the next office, we all interact with
the rest of the world on a daily, if not hourly basis. Unfortunately, it seems that the
US education system has not yet caught up to the needs of students in this global
context. The even more unfortunate truth is that students who do not develop global
competency are destined to lag behind their foreign counterparts in the workforce
and in academia until we take the time to evaluate our education system and include
global competency training in our curriculum.

So, what does global competency look like? Students who are globally competent
can investigate the world around them, recognize and value diverse perspectives,
communicate ideas about global issues, and take action as it is needed. Basically,
global competency is simply an extension of the already great teaching that most
educators do on a daily basis.

Teaching global competency falls in line quite seamlessly with the Common Core
State Standards (CCSS). Here in Arizona, as we begin to implement the CCSS, we
would be well served to also consider how we are teaching students to become
Global Citizens. College and career readiness certainly includes the ability to write
and read, to investigate mathematical theorems, and to apply the Scientific Method.
But our students are living in a world where they must also be able to interact
with and understand people from diverse backgrounds and countries. At ASU,
NAU, Grand Canyon, UA, and other institutions, our students will collaborate with
researchers from around the world. As professionals, our students will create
partnerships with global organizations. And, if we are so fortunate, our students will
become leaders who will interact with others on a global scale. If we do not provide
our students with the tools and skills needed to succeed in these arenas, then we
have truly failed.

We must use this critical time in the education field to seize upon the strength at the
base of the Common Core standards—that is, the Habits of Mind. The great benefit
of these standards is that they do not, in many cases, prescribe to the teacher exact
content to be taught. As a result, we as teachers can choose to teach the Habits of
Mind through the lens of global issues. We can choose to implement projects on how
to use public health information to make responsible decisions instead of simply
researching disease transmission. We can examine a systems-based approach to
armed conflict in addition to teaching Civil War history.

By embracing global competency, we open our students up to a whole new world of
engaging content. According to CommLaw Conspectus, 43% of US students say that
they think their homework is never or only sometimes meaningful. As educators, we
can link the concepts that students must grasp to developed and engaging content
that students are excited about and in so doing, support them in becoming Global
Citizens to ensure their successful tomorrow.

Reach Lisa Glenn at lisa@newglobalcitizens.org