Transforming communities through international education!
Only 5 percent of the total students who study abroad in America are black. More than 70 percent of employers agree that international studies experience can drastically increase the chances of landing a job. Yet, a lot of African American youth have never seen beyond their own neighborhoods.
ONE STEP INITIATIVE (OSI) seeks out intelligent and engaged young people in our inner city high schools. OSI selects, grooms, and introduces high school students to international education opportunities. We coordinate the selection process with the school administrators and teachers. Next we conduct an introductory meeting between the parents and International Programs experts, followed by a pre-departure program designed to teach the importance of leadership, multicultural awareness, and prepare our young Global Ambassadors for their first journey overseas. Once returned, we require the students to report their experience in a group presentation at their home schools and hopefully, plant a seed of curiosity amongst their peers and the community.
Seven students were selected from three Memphis high schools (5-Melrose, 1-Whitehaven, 1-Southwind) to participate in a two-week History program in Ghana, West Africa. After all students are successfully funded, we will teach them the importance of African heritage and customs. Following the Youth Global Ambassadors return from Africa, the students will share what they’ve learned with the community and peers through artistic interpretation, group presentation, and community development. A public outreach plan is designed to increase community engagement and foster urban improvement programs.
why we’re doing it
Travel inspires great leadership. It allows one to appreciate other cultures and various methods of doing things. It promotes innovation, and travel teaches you to push beyond your comfort zone. Sadly, most students within the underserved communities have never gotten a chance to travel outside of their own zip codes or see the Mississippi River. We want to encourage our young people to experience every continent, become fluent in another language, learn a new skill, but then we want them to come home and allow their global view to shape how they approach leading a progressive city here in Memphis.