Introducing the GCI Fellows 2019!
Updated: Jul 8, 2019
We are thrilled to introduce you to the GCI Fellows 2019!
In just a couple of weeks, 28 Fellows from all sectors of society and all corners of the globe will start their GCI Fellowship by gathering at the GCI Summit 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. All 28 will become part of our global community where individuals embrace their unique colorful stories and cultures as they design and implement local solutions to global issues that transcend social, economic and political boundaries.
This year's cohort represents 26 different cultural heritages, speaks 24 languages and studies at 22 schools in 12 countries! And 75% of them are on needs-based financial aid to take part in the GCI Fellowship.
Continue reading to learn more about each Fellow and their stories.
School: Wellington College
Home Countries: Italy, United Kingdom
“Family is a vital part of who I am a today; my mother from Colombian origins has influenced my values and character in a multitude of different ways. Initially she taught me to hold my morals sincerely close to my heart, always being lovingly kind and true to myself. This is something I believe very strongly in, seeing as our modern day society normally influences the younger generation to divert from being one’s true self. My father, on the other hand, is my idol, his constant dedication to work and aspirational and hardworking mindset has consistently pushed me to work harder on a daily basis. My father’s Italian origins has given me endless opportunities to communicate with a variety of different people. Finally, my brother, a true pillar in my family, has influenced my patience and has injected a confidence in me to speak up and do the things that I love.”
School: Westminster School
Home Country: Iran
“I was raised in a family of six: maternal grandparents, two aunties, and my mum. I was admittedly closest to my grandpa, who has always been my best friend. My best childhood memories are when I went on exciting adventures with him. He taught me the importance of remaining calm in difficult situations and being the adult in the room which I have kept in mind in every difficult situation that I have been since then. My grandpa lives in Iran and my mum and I have lived in the UK since I was 9. Due to some unfortunate geopolitical circumstances, I have not seen my grandpa in 5 years, though I FaceTime him every night and discuss the day’s events with him. I am not sure when I will see him again, but I am sure that I will never stop learning from him.”
School: The American School in Japan
Home Countries: Japan, United States
“My family has impacted how I conduct leadership roles. My parents come from two very distinct cultures; my father is Jewish-American and my mother is Japanese. Because of this, both sides of my family have different life experiences and values. Instead of shying away from each other because of this, they have actively embraced and celebrated the others’ culture. Seeing the way in which different viewpoints and backgrounds enriched both sides of my family has taught me the importance of including a diverse set of perspectives as a leader in my school service clubs; rather than finding multiple perspectives threatening, I find them a source of strength and valuable insight.”
School: The Graded School
Home Country: United States
“From having a wild toddler-hood in Africa to a well-educated childhood in China to middle school in the Middle East and now high school in Brazil, I’ve lived each stage of my life around the world. As I started high school, however, there was a big part of me that was unsure about who I was. Where was I from? What did it mean about who I was if I didn’t have a home? Partway through my sophomore year, I realized that my identity is more rooted in the people in my life than in the places I’ve lived. My family has been the one thing that has remained absolutely consistent during times of change and crisis, and they have been what’s shaped me into who I am. They have taught me to be strong in my beliefs.”
School: Hisar Foundation Schools
Home Countries: Turkey, United States
"My grandparents from maternal side are the Kipchaks, which is a Turkish nomadic group that have lived through Russians, Balkans and Georgia, and migrated to Turkey almost a century ago. My paternal grandparents migrated to Turkey from Bosnia and both cultures have affected me throughout my childhood. Migrating and attuning to different cultures has been a reality in my family and has taught me how to humanely connect people from diverse backgrounds through rich cross-cultural dialogues. They have also taught me the value of sharing knowledge. Sharing knowledge is also very crucial in a developing country like Turkey to elevate the quality of life and eliminate biases and dictatorial ideas and practices. Coming from a multicultural background, I have developed an appreciation for collective work. Sharing resources and working collectively at a goal creates wonders much beyond expectations."
School: Tagore International School
Home Country: India
"As the only child, my parents have been my sole support system, the people who I look up to for help and advice. My parents have taught me to be just in my decisions and honest to myself. They have also taught me to be considerate and envision myself in the other person’s shoes. I feel this is a great quality to possess in order to be empathetic. It is this quality of valuing truth and equality that has made me passionate about righting social injustices and helping to create positive change however possible. One of the most precious lessons that I have learnt from my parents is to always feel comfortable in my own skin. They have taught me that adopting western styles blindly does not signify development, and have instead taught me to merge the best of both worlds."