Impact Survey Background and Results:
As part of its increased emphasis on impact measurement and alumni engagement, GV conducted its first alumni impact survey in July and August of 2010. GV staff obtained up-to-date contact information for 524 alumni, and received survey responses from 212 GV participants, for a survey response rate of 40%. In this first step in our comprehensive impact measurement plan that will be rolled out this fall, GV alumni reported that their GV experience impacted their lives significantly in the areas of leadership, social and environmental justice, and community service. Additionally, alumni provided extensive open-ended feedback on their GV experience that will be extremely helpful as we continue to improve and expand our programs.
When I signed up for GV seven years ago, I was your standard high school freshman: pretty quiet, no concept of my ecological footprint or consumption habits, interested in foreign languages but not really sure why, living in my bubble of a Mercer Island world, and had never even heard the phrase ‘social justice’ before. Of course, all that was soon to change. Before we even left the country, GV introduced me to environmentalism, widened my perspective on Seattle’s diversity, and put me through such eye-opening experiences as an anti-racism workshop and leadership training. But the deeper magic for me began abroad, when by exposing me to the realities of rural Guatemala, GV inspired my continuing desire to work towards social justice in the world. The reason for my language studies became clear: I could use those skills to talk with people all over the globe, to learn from their experiences and to work with them to empower their communities. The world became bigger-a vast unexplored globe full of people to meet, languages to learn, cultures to experience, and problems to solve. I had found my spark, and its fire still lights my heart today.
-Meghan Flaherty, Seattle 2004