Becoming globally gifted

Global careers, experiences with studying abroad and trips to foreign countries are all extremely probable for students’ futures at the high school. The Global Scholars Diploma Program, an educational extracurricular program for high school students, could be a great help for students wanting to explore the cross-cultural aspects of life.

The program, containing three year-long levels, is run and organized by the Columbus Council on World Affairs. Each meeting, the program works to cover topics such as global trade, cross-cultural interactions, leadership and responsibility in the community.

“The program has one major goal: to promote global competency in students. The Council on World Affairs describes the program as a ‘global education for all’ program that thrives on inclusivity, equity and access for all, and develops globally competent students with the knowledge, skills and mindset necessary for leadership, citizenship and careers in an interconnected, global society,” Program Ambassador Rachel Dobney said.

Each level of the program focuses on different aspects of global topics, and each year the program gets more in depth. Level I, being more general, essentially works to develop an overall sense of cultural awareness in students. Level II strengthens this by focusing on more specific local topics, issues and businesses that are involved globally. Level III, the final level, encourages students to create and implement a project about a local and global issue that they are passionate about.

“The goal of the project is to take what we’ve learned and bring it to our own communities. The program hosts several schools, so the goal is to create a ripple effect. If a few students from each school are involved, we can really spread our message,” Level III Global Scholar Zaida Jenkins said.

Since the program takes three years to complete, it is only possible for highschoolers to join as freshman or sophomores if they wish to fully graduate the program. Although students can quit the program earlier than level III, it seems quite beneficial to continue on in the program until completion.

“I would definitely recommend completing all three years of the program. I have learned so much about myself through this process that I wouldn’t have discovered without creating my level III project,” Jenkins said.

The Global Scholars Diploma Program was only fully started about three years ago in Olentangy, but the skills and topics it covers could mean greater success in the futures of the high school’s students. For more information, Rachel Dobney can be contacted at rachel_dobney@olsd.us, and the program is continually looking for new students to include in its program.

“We have real conversations with real people about real issues. There are few opportunities in my school career that have been more valuable than Global Scholars,” Jenkins said.

Illustration by Jacob Fulton

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