For some people, fall is about enjoying pumpkin spice lattes and jumping in piles of rust-colored leaves in the backyard. Or pulling out scarves, hats and gloves from dusty corners of the closet and praying that the moths didn’t get to them over the summer. For Global Visionaries, it’s about pulling out all the stops and keeping things fresh while we focus almost singularly on one endeavor: recruiting.
250 presentations in 3 weeks across 25 high schools between Kent and Port Townsend means we had over 2500 phone calls to make to prospective applicants to our First Year Leadership & Intensive programs this year. Impossible? Not when you have the support of our amazing GV community: over 2000 hours were put into the monumental feat that is GV recruiting season during the last few weeks by Youth Board, parents, teachers, volunteers, interns, board members and staff.
What makes it all worth it?
Our program participants come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and about half of them are students of color. Some of the languages you may hear spoken at our Culture Nights throughout the program year between parents and their students include those from Southeast Asia, East Africa, Eastern Europe as well as Spanish and of course, English.
“Every year, we witness first-hand families who are passionate about the GV experience and desire for their children to be a part of this program, but struggle to make it a reality financially,” says Mario Flores, GV program outreach manager. Over 180 applications (and counting) have been received so far at this point and nearly 60% of these were accompanied by requests for financial aid. In spite of the tough economic environment and resulting strain on traditional funding sources, GV awarded $115,000 in program scholarships for 2012-2013, up over 22% from $90,065 in program year 2011-2012.
At GV, we strive to make our programs available to all youth who desire to see a positive change in their community regardless of their financial situation. We look forward to a future when all young people may participate in our programs without money being the primary barrier. After all, Mario says, “we are not just recruiting participants to travel to Guatemala. We are working to build a community that thinks actively and continues to challenge social and environmental injustices in our global community.”