Tag Archives: students

Spring Trip: Happening Now!

Small Spring Trip GroupFor participants of the 2013 Spring Trip, Guatemala is now a reality. On April 6th, they departed on the culminating experience of all the learning, volunteering and fundraising that they have been a part of for the past months.

I know how excited and anxious I would be if I were going to Guatemala, but to get some insight into how the participants feel, I checked back in with Fiona Carlile (see Spring Trip is Right Around the Corner) to see how she felt just before embarking on her trip.

Q: As the trip gets closer, what are you excited about?  Anything new?

Fiona: I’m still excited about the same things, but everything just feels more real now.  I’m excited to build relationships with everyone involved in the trip.

Q: Again, as the trips draws near, what are you nervous about?

Fiona: I don’t want to look so American.  I want to work alongside the people there and not just fix things.

Q: How have you grown and developed personally over the span of the program so far?

Fiona: My views have definitely changed.  Originally I thought we were going to just help the people in Guatemala but now I know that we are there to work with them.  I also have a lot more confidence in myself.

Q: Have you made any lasting personal changes because of the program?

Fiona: I feel like the way that I view other people has changed.  I used to judge other people, but now I make sure that I don’t because no one deserves to be judged.

It’s incredible to see just how much can change in a person can be seen in such a short amount of time.  I know I’m excited to see how the work and learning that will happen in Guatemala will continue to shape these incredible youth, and I’m sure you are as well. We will be checking in with our participants during the trip and for a follow up after, so don’t forget to come back for the next Spring Trip installment on the GV Blog! Find us on Facebook and look for photos soon!


Fiesta de Global Visionaries: Igniting Leadership through Community


What is your idea of a global visionary? A leader? A helper? A role model? How about a global thinker – a person leading community building efforts through strong relationships and global citizenship?

A Global Visionary is a young person being the change we all hope to see. 

Global Visionaries is a torch that sparks a fire in all of our youth participants. We ignite their leadership, citizenry and hope for creating better communities for our future.  At GV, we know that each visionary will blaze a trail in their own communities; light fires and empower us all from within.

Keep our leaders’ embers aglow by joining us on May 11, 2013, at the Fiesta de Global Visionaries: Igniting Leadership Through Community, our 12th annual auction and gala. It will be a night to remember as we raise our glasses high, celebrate and cheer on Global Visionaries past, present and future.

Fiesta de Global Visionaries

Igniting Leadership Through Community

Saturday, May 11, 2013

5:30-9 pm

Brockey Center, South Seattle Community College
6000 16th Avenue S.W.
Seattle, WA   98106-1499

Individual tickets are $80.00 – purchase now.


Can’t make it but still want to support GV? Make a gift.


Here’s a sneak peek at some of the fantastic items up on the auction block:

  • a walk-on role in the hit show Nashville, filmed in Tennessee
  • dinner in New York with The Moth storyteller and author Dan Kennedy
  • an authentic crew jacket from the Academy Award-winning film Titanic
  • two fantastic tours of Pike Place Market given by a Market insider mom/son duo: one historic tour for adults including gift certificates to Market shops, and one children’s/teenager Market tour/scavenger hunt thanks to one of our own students
  • A white-water rafting adventure with a unique twist: your intense white-water jumps will be captured by the beautiful photography of one of our youth

Parents, Auction Procurers and other Supporters

Thank you to everyone who met the first procurement deadline of January 31st – we’re getting so excited to reveal all the amazing items as May 11th approaches.  This month’s contribution date is Thursday, February 28.

Support our leaders with meeting each deadline by helping them think of how they can turn their skills and talents into sharable experiences.  Can they knit? Would they be willing to teach a children’s knitting class for 12?  Do they want to organize friends to dedicate one day a month for a year to washing someone’s car?  Got a photographer on your hands? How about offering an in-house family portrait session? Perhaps they’d like to contribute the clothing and accessory line they designed and constructed.  Every talent, skill and commitment of time is worth contributing!  We all have a special something and we encourage our youth to channel that special something into a very special experience for our Fiesta attendees!

A Special Request

We’ve got lots of amazing opportunities out of town, and we’re looking for people to donate frequent flyer miles so we can make sure some of these unique items have round trip flights included.  Please let us know if you can help out with frequent flyer mile donations!

Sponsorships and Advertisements

There are other ways to support our students: sponsorships and advertisements.  Do you know a friend who owns a hair salon who’d like to advertise the Fiesta in their store, or would be interested in sponsoring the event in some way? Let us know!  Have an item to donate?  We’d love everything from desserts and hotel stays to frequent flyer miles and spa packages.

We’re also looking for sponsorships and advertisements.  Know a friend who owns a hair salon? Maybe they’d like to help advertise the event in their store – or sponsor the event in some way. Let us know!  Or maybe they’d like to donate an item or service.  We’re looking for everything from desserts and jewelry, to air miles and spa packages. If you can help with these areas, please contact Cynthia Hope at hope.cyn@gmail.com or Jennifer Johnston (procurement) jcjmail@comcast.net.

If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Amy Maguire at AmyMaguire@global-visionaries.org.

Keep the fire alive – come support our Global Visionaries’ creation of a just and sustainable future!

Letter from the Executive Director

Annual Appeal Header


“As someone from the south end of Seattle, getting to know kids from Mercer Island
along with my Cleveland High School peers is a powerful thing.
Stereotypes are destroyed and we’re better for it.”

-16 year-old Global Visionaries leader


Thank you for being a member of the Global Visionaries family. Put another way, if you are reading this, I recognize you as a Global Visionary and I am proud to be part of your family.

GV is a catalyst for uniting youth across economic and racial spectrums. Our programs invite young people to recognize and manifest the global leaders that they are. These “spectrums” rarely interact, let alone solve problems together. However, solving global problems is just one part of our mission at GV.

To accomplish this mission, our youth need your support! I ask you to make a gift now to our year-end annual campaign. By doing so, you are empowering young people to become global leaders in creating a just and sustainable future.Please “put in your grain of sand” as Guatemalans say, to enable the GV family to reach our $10,000 Annual Appeal goal.

And here’s the best part – your support will position GV to reach our 2020 Vision:

GV will serve 20% of Seattle public high school youth by 2020

That’s 2,543 youth impacted each year through peer-to-peer education.

I am excited to share with you Global Visionaries’ 2012 Annual Report. This year, we have gone paperless for both our Annual Report and Annual Appeal. I invite you to enjoy the report and to celebrate our many accomplishments.

We thank Spring 2013 participant Fiona Carlile’s fabulous father, Dave Carlile, and his team at Sublime Media, Jeanne Buchler, Ryan Moeck, Corey Campbell, Kirk Kriskovich, David Linder, and Liisa McConnell for beautifully crafting and designing our 2012 Annual Report.

Give to Global Visionaries TODAY to empower young global leaders.

I wish you and your family the very best this holiday season. We look forward to collaborating with you again in 2013!

Grateful for your endless support,

Christopher Fontana
Executive Director, Global Visionaries

The Spark of Social Justice

By Noel Chapman

photo (2)

The last thing I would have wanted to do in high school was sign up to sit in a small room for two hours every Monday night and talk about heavy subjects like sexism, racism, or ageism.  However, this is exactly what the Pro Justice Team at Global Visionaries has committed to doing.

The Pro Justice Team, or PJ as it’s normally called, consists of eight high school students from a variety of schools.  PJ is a part of Youth Board, a program for second year students who have decided to continue to be a part of GV in different leadership positions.

PJ focuses on learning about and educating others regarding “cycles of oppression and privilege” as Tiffany Lumley, Assistant Program Manager, explained.  “They focus on a different ‘ism’ each week and break it down.  They learn ways they can fight that ‘ism’.”

I had to check this out and see for myself what it was that these high school students are learning about each week, and I was blown away by the material that they were actively paying attention to.

This past week PJ had Anita Nath come in and talk to them about the work that she is doing with Unite Here, an organization that helps hospitality employees find a voice.  Anita herself is a boycott organizer and is working with the Hilton and the Edgewater boycotts and marches.

I was stunned to hear these high school students making connections between this local issue and concepts like racism, sexism, and imperialism.  I mean, imperialism?!  Isn’t that something we all learned about once in history and quickly forgot after the quiz?  Apparently not to these PJ members; they were keenly listening to every word that Anita was saying.  I could see the wheels turning in their heads as they were identifying how the abstract “isms” that they have been learning about were actually happening in their own city.

The PJ members learn a language they can use to describe social justice issues around the world.  This is a language I did not come into contact with until college.  They are able to name specific forms of oppression, utilizing labels to take the first step in social change.  To read more about the use of language and naming see former GV intern Tim Takechi’s article.

Not only is the PJ team provided with this terminology, but they are given the opportunity to pass it on to the first year participants.  PJ is in charge of one culture night of the year in which they facilitate the sort of discussions and learning that they have been exposed to the whole year.  They also are in charge of a section of the first year participant’s retreat which has been said to be one of the most powerful parts.

If you want to learn more about what the PJ Team is or get involved in what they are doing you can check out Anita Nath’s work with Unite Here at www.unitehere8.org.  Unite Here even has a Facebook page under the name Unite Here! Local 8 where you can stay updated on the events that are happening in Seattle.

A New Year, a New Group of Young Leaders

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.”

Find out more about what’s new at GV by following us on our blog and on Facebook.  Or make a contribution and help support today’s global leaders.

What is Culture Night?

By Noel Chapman

What exactly is Culture Night?  As a brand new intern here at Global Visionaries, I had no idea what to expect when I attended the first Culture Night for the participants in the First Year Leadership Program as it was my first Culture Night too.  Was it an introduction to Guatemalan culture?  Was it a time to discuss cultural issues in general?  Was it simply an informational session held once a month with a catchy title?  I found that the answer was not as simple as I had thought.

Youth Board member Laura Bedalov explained that Culture Night is where “participants discuss the goals they have for the trip.  They learn what to expect and talk about cultural differences.”  She said that this all makes students “more comfortable on the trip.”

Hannah Malham, another Youth Board member, said that the first Culture Night is where students and parents get the “basic information of the whole program.”  On other Culture Nights, Hannah went on to say, the students “learn about cultural injustices and about their group that they will be going on the trip with.”

Culture Night is in fact a time where participants are introduced to Guatemalan culture, where they discuss cultural issues and get information on the trip.  All of my first assumptions seem to be correct.  However, I think Tiffany Lumley, GV assistant program manager, hit on an element of Culture Night that is not as easy to explain or see, but an element that is extremely important.

Culture Night is where the first year students and parents get introduced to the culture of GV itself.  As Tiffany put it, they get to see “how people think in GV” and are exposed to GV’s “very strong culture.”  From the first “¡Buenas noches!,” the participants are inundated with the strong energy and confidence that is prolific in GV.

As I was standing in the first meeting room waiting for the official program to begin, Chris Fontana, GV executive director, asked the group to raise their hands if they were going on the Summer Trip and then if they were going on the Spring Trip.  However, he didn’t just ask them to raise their hands, but told them that there are no bent elbows at GV.  Their hands had to be straight up in the air.  When I saw that, I was shocked, but I soon learned that that’s just how GV does things.  That was GV’s culture.

From the very beginning, GV expects their participants to come energized, confident, and ready and willing to participate.  Though raising your hand with no bent elbow may be a small demonstration of this, it was evidence enough for me.  These are both crucial and rare qualities of a good leader, something more high school students should be learning.  From my perspective, GV’s introduction to its own culture during Culture Nights is the first step in “empowering young people” as the mission states.

Come experience what the first year participants do during some of their Culture Nights by joining us at GV’s Diversity Training workshop in December. Register and learn more.

Save the Date – GV Welcome Night

Thursday, November 29, 2012

6:30-9 p.m.

Location: TBD


Come out and join M-Bibe and the Global Visionaries community for an evening of music and fun as you meet this year’s incoming program participants!

Parents: mix & mingle with other parents and members of the GV community including staff, interns, volunteers, alumni and more – get to know the people that your students will be working with over the next year.

Everybody else: find out more about GV and our work to empower young people to become global leaders in creating a just and sustainable future.

And did we mention there’s going to be awesome music by local musicians involved?

Suggested donation of $10 will go to support ongoing  GV program needs.

About M-Bibe

What We Do

M-bibe builds symbiotic partnerships between Northwest nonprofits, non-traditional venues, and musicians. We bring folks together to network, socialize, and raise money for a good cause while supporting talented, local musicians and their original music.

Why We Do It

We are musicians with a mission.  We care a lot about what’s going on in the world.  We realize nonprofits need funding.  We know music brings people together.  What better way to help nonprofits, support local business and musicians, and build communities by connecting all the dots?​​

Our Story

The co-founders of M-bibe met by chance in the sun-drenched region of Cappadocia in central Turkey in 2010.  Over 6,000 miles from the Northwest, they came to learn that they resided only a few miles from each other in Seattle.  With a variety of similar interests and pursuits, it seemed almost inevitable that a future project would develop between the two.  They kept in touch back in Seattle over the next couple of years and eventually realized the potential for ahigher purpose of their art; M-bibe was born!

Website: www.m-bibe.com

Previous event: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEut4ePulss

Press: www.capitolhilltimes.com/2012/09/people-wh-rock-bikes-that-roll-and-musicians-who-do-both

Summer Trip – Student and Staff Poetry

The ember in the night
By Aiden Behar
When you find darkness it seems to consume you.
What is not known that in every dark place there is light to be found.
In even the darkest spot in hell there is light existing if only a whisper it is there.
The light is awaiting to be found and become alive, but it needs you and you need it.
Many of us fail to look and so we may never find.
But know that if you look you will find and that light will forever shine.

Untitled Works:

By Torin Frost
As I write on this paper, it makes me wonder, where will the piece of paper slumber. Will it be recycled and wrote on again, what about my pen? Where will it end? When it runs out of ink in the ocean will it sink, perhaps a weapon in a bar fight, for someone with too much to drink what do you think? Just look at what we have, just to make it easier cut than in half, then divide it by ten and share half with your friend and with all these possessions, what then? Because the men and the women that are currently alive will be long gone by 3025, 1000 years long? Ha to us. But to earth it’ll seem shorter than a trip on the bus, but really have some trust only pause and think. We have so many resources and they are continuing to shrink. Because for every billion people, they’ll be a billion more and I don’t think we realize what we really have in store.

By Julia Shaw
Torrents of water
A zap of electricity
A groan of thunder
The tin rood hums its song
And now it reaches it chorus
Now the final bridge
Now its close verse
Now its lust measure
And the song is over
The rain has stopped

By Roxanne Trager
We only remember the winners
Who came in first, who has the most money
We don’t remember who tried the hardest
Or who overcame the most or who cheered the loudest
We celebrate and revere people who did horrendous things
Columbus. Andrew Jackson and despite knowing their mistakes,
We repeat them.
That’s the definition of crazy.
Doing something over and over again, expecting different results
We ignore what we know
Looking for a quick solution or just trying to pretend what’s happening isn’t
Ignorance won’t make problems go away
Sick people, hungry people, mean people
And just because your bubble hasn’t been popped Doesn’t mean the same is true for others.

By Surita Spigner
The beautiful cell
Our world is an unbalanced ecosystem
Beauty is a glorious mountain, a baby girl
Or bit a large mansion, a pretty woman
Do we stop to help grow a tree, an organization, a child
Or to expand an account, a paycheck or undeserved honors
Can we justify the reforestation of tropical region
Or instead the construction of a strip mall or highway?
Could a lawyer find the innocent innocent
Or the guilty without fault?
Yes to both
But this is not balance
Balance requires positive and negative sides
A yes and a no
An equivalent charge to the struggle global cell
One must say yes to what is right, a seed is planted.
A no to the “empeorando”
The worsening of this beauty
Which is us, our ecosystem, our cell, our mountain, child, tree our organization.
Our global vision.

By Duncan Koontz 
Global Visionaries on a global vision
Working as one for a global mission.

GV circle, shaped like the earth.
Shaping environments by moving dirt.

This is the moment of truth census
Was it, is it past, present, future tenses.

Where have I come
Where will I be

GV, I think it will change me.

Spring Trip – Student and Staff Poetry

The Day
By Maya Garfinkel 
Time is not static
It passes
In days
It can be slow,
laying in bed all day with lemon tea and a good book
buried in blankets
you can be alone or with someone at your side, perfectly silent
silence is underrated
it makes time go slowly
until you have spent the whole day in bed,
with your thoughts and your empty pot of tea
and your book finished
and an imprint of the person in your bed, long gone.
And the day is done.

It can be fast,
When seconds turn into minutes into hours into a day.
Before you can take a breath.
Walking through streets,
nothing to occupy your time but your own imagination
you can be alone, or someone can be beside you.
You can talk with strangers on park benches,
or see your brother, or sister, or parents.
There’s really no difference between talking with an old man feeding birds,
and my brother, who doesn’t like birds, or talking to strangers.
And the day is done.

I’m afraid of regrets.
Lying in my bed, without tea, or strangers, or family,
I am left to think about the day,
whether it felt fast or slow, long or short,
and no matter the hours, I unwind in my head or on my yellow analog in the kitchen,
nothing can be changed, no hugs can be given, no bitter words unsaid.
The day is done.

By Cameron Daniel- Smith
Scanning battlefield conditions…
Complete! Fear, death, and things unknown
An average day for me.
Scanning personal until…
Complete! Confuses, lonely, a need to help others
Everything seems average
Activating system…
Vocal hole online, sound sensors operating
Dual viewing windows at full capacity
Going through daily operations
I see units broken, weary, in need of fuel
Oil leaking through viewing windows
Try to look away…
The other way I see different units
Same operations but different look
I have a need to trade data
But fear kicks in…
Turn around return to base
As I lay in recharging station
I think of the title of all units
What defines us and makes us who we are
Huge un-operated machines and necessarily sentient
Or H.U.M.A.N.S.

We Be Us
By Dale Rector- Spring Traveling Teacher from Cleveland
Multi-colored, Multi-powered,
Multi-dreaded, Multi-flowered
Dreams that caress
Dreams that menace
Words that spell our minds
And then us
We will be one
Not all just fun
No one run to show that
New sun
It is coming, humming, summing
Will not accept now’s down, down
We can be us, without meanness
Without hate and fear between us
Let’s just do it,
Not sleep through it.

Untitled Works:

By Nathalie Jane
I am this piece of paper handed to me. There is so much to be written on it, but as for now, I am blank. But now is only the beginning. At the end you will see the change the markings and creases the smudges and foldings. What this piece of paper becomes at the end is what matters.

I’ve never thought that it would take a trip to Guatemala with people who once were strangers; to actually come to realize where I stand in not only my life, but also the people I am around on the daily.

By Guadalupe Reynaga
Un lugar bello
Con un pasado triste
Y con un presente corrupto
Vemos muchas sonrisas mientras
Caminamos por la calle
Pero que dolor se esconde
Detrás de esas sonrisas?

By Teisha Rogers
My experience in the world is nothing like I wish it was. In my perfect world, I would live in a perfect household, where no one screams or yells, but with the same loving family. I would also be more outgoing and not so shy all the time. I would have a realistic idea of what I would like to do for a living. In my perfect world I wouldn’t be so judgmental of myself and would learn to be more carefree and not stress or worry all the time of my future and where I will end up.

By Ismael Cortes
What is a good life?!
Having all you want?
Having the newest thing?
For me it’s been a debate.
At first I thought it was
All about having fun and
Having the newest thing.
Just living a worry-free life, but…

I learned that
Life is greed, someone
Who wants all and gives none.
But there are other types of lives.
There is a life where
You have very little
And you have all you need.
I learned that two things make up life.
All you need is family.
With that, it’s enough,
I don’t need anything else.
That love which I need to repair.
That’s all I need in my life.

By Caroline Slick
The laughs, the cries, the happiness, the tears
So much emotion
So much fear.
I see these people
With layers of wrinkles,
Each a different story to tell,
How is it possible for me to compare?
They give with nothing,
Yet they give too much.
I control your future
Whether you want me to or not.
This beautiful place has so much potential
A thriving city,
A town to remember
Yet the roads are lined with trash
Not gold or bronze or silver,
Your house is made of plastic,
A town with a dead river.
Now you may say this place is not alive
But what might surprise you,
Is all the emotion inside.
The music is lovely
The smiles are big,
The hands are dirty,
And no one cares how bad you sing.
Friendships grow quickly.

By Chris Fontana, Global Visionaries Executive Director
Fifty Strangers Come
Open to the mystery
We are home at last

Come to the Table: A Unique Fundraiser for GV

Earlier this year, Global Visionaries was proud to present a new and unique fund-raising event for the Global Visionaries community – Come to the Table.  With fund-raising totals in and after receiving positive feedback from the community and participants, the event has been marked as a definite success.

“I feel that the fact that we raised over $10,000 and created stronger relationships between GV, 110 employees, and students are a few successes of the event,” said Sharon Finden, Senior Consultant at 110 Consulting, who helped coordinate the event. “The fundraiser also gave strong leadership opportunities to the students.”

Come to the Table brought together twenty Youth Board leaders and twenty 110 employees, with the organization and planning primarily completed by the students with guidance from the adults.

“I worked with the Youth Board to help plan the event,” Finden said. “Essentially, the Executive Youth Board members planned the whole thing and I helped coordinate the plan and acted as the project manager.”

Even with large responsibilities upon the students, they rose up to the challenge, allowing the event to go off smoothly and without difficulties.

“I really enjoyed working with the youth because they have so much energy and are very optimistic about changing things,” Finden said. “They really take ownership of something when they realize they can make a difference.”

During the dinners, students made presentations about their experiences in Guatemala that left lasting impressions upon attendees.

“Everyone at the dinners seemed to really love the presentations,” Finden remarked. “Everyone that I talked to that hadn’t been involved with GV before was amazed and gave very positive feedback.”

These presentations not only gave insight into what GV does and how these students helped make a difference, but further gave attendees a glimpse into what the entire experience was like, which was a big part of what made the event special.

“I think it was really great that students talked about their trips to Guatemala: what it was like and what they did,” Finden commented. “It was very special and I think a lot of people were surprised by what they heard and the insight into the experience. It was very personal.”

GV Staff and Youth Board leaders believe that reaching over $10,000 marks the event as a definite success and allows GV to start planning to make next year’s Come to the Table event even better.