Please join us in congratulating our 36 newest GCI Ambassadors from around the world on their completion of the first ever GCI LEAD Challenge! As GCI's first online program, we are incredibly excited to welcome this cohort of young agents of positive change—representing 30 different cultural heritages, 28 languages and 30 schools in 14 countries—to our global community.
Throughout the 6-day program, we were impressed by the thoughtful questions and dynamic discussions that took place in our virtual classrooms. Together, we opened our minds to different perspectives and innovative ideas as we explored the topics of Leadership, Ethics and Advocacy and the learning methodologies of Design Thinking and Harkness®*.
Each day, expert speakers provided their insight on the day’s theme and top educators from Phillips Exeter Academy facilitated Harkness®* academic sessions around the topic. Students applied what they learned during these sessions to collaborate on an advocacy campaign for the nonprofit organization APOPO, which trains rats to help to rid the world of landmines and tuberculosis.
With guidance from Aybike Oğuz, an educator from Robert College of Istanbul, and our 9 incredible Teaching Assistants (all GCI Ambassadors themselves!), students worked in groups to answer the question: "How might we make APOPO hero rats popular among young people?" The GCI Team was blown away by each group's unique and thoughtful presentation, where we were treated to a wide range of prototypes from the practical to the whimsical. We cannot wait to see how the students apply the lessons they learned through this project to their home communities to help solve local problems.
After an inspiring discussion on the program's final day with Alexandra Wilson, an extraordinary young barrister and social justice advocate from the United Kingdom, we were sad to say goodbye, but we know that the conversations and friendships started during the GCI LEAD Challenge are far from over. We are so excited to continue to follow and be a part of our now 196 Ambassadors' journeys!
Thank you to all who participated, sponsored, donated, endorsed and worked on the virtual GCI LEAD Challenge 2021. This program could not have happened without your wonderful and enduring support!
*Harkness® is a registered trademark of Phillips Exeter Academy.