Friday, September 11, 2015

Feel Good Friday - Student Diplomacy Corps

Every time September 11th rolls around, I think about how much nicer the world would be if people took the time to learn about and appreciate other cultures rather than assume different means bad. In today's Feel Good Friday, we visit an organization in New York City that offers a way for students to bridge the cultural divide.

I learned about the Student Diplomacy Corps (SDC) through this article on the Christian Science Monitor People Making a Difference page, a place I often go on a web surfing safari for a bit of inspiration.

Anthony Allen, Chris Frantz and John Meislin, used their 30 years of experience running cross-cultural education programs to conceive of and found SDC. According to the website, "The Student Diplomacy Corps (SDC) provides opportunities and scholarships for high school students from across the nation and around the world to access dynamic international education summer programs that build college readiness, deepen understanding of global issues and unleash the potential and creativity of youth."

These programs place groups of 10-12 students in Chile, China, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, Turkey and Uruguay! Whether you're interested in The Importance of Being Basque or Sushi Dreams and Sustainability, there's something for everyone. You can get all details about their programs at this link but be warned, it will make you want to fill out application paperwork.

Of all the people that applied last year, 123 Student Diplomats were selected to participate in SDC and they received scholarships covering 85% of the tuition and travel costs. As the founders point out, insights and skills come not only from the program content but also from the application process.

Application Process:

  • Prepares you for the rigors of the college application process.
  • Develops writing and interview skills.
  • Teaches you how to create a personal statement.
  • Orients and prepares you for the program.
Program Content:
  • Helps develop critical thinking and independent living skills.
  • Increases cross-cultural competencies.
  • Deepens civic engagement.
  • Raises confidence and personal expectations.

All this while meeting new friends, seeing new places and making memories that will last a lifetime? Yes!

I've been fortunate enough to travel the world as an adult but oh, how I wish SDC was around when I was in high school! To support their work, you can donate online. To get the latest and greatest info, like their Facebook page.

Happy Feel Good Friday and may all your sushi dreams come true!

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