GCC 2017 Global Youth Summit Wrap-Up

GCC NYC Global Youth Summit NYC -Finding Solutions

GCC NYC Global Youth Summit NYC -Finding Solutions

Since its founding in 2001, Global Concerns Classroom (GCC) has been inspiring US high school students to become informed and engaged global citizens through its education programs.  Students learn about global issues affecting the lives of individuals globally and focus on their impact felt by the most vulnerable populations in the developing world. GCC encourages and cultivates students to become leaders in their communities who learn the importance of global citizenship by taking meaningful action on global issues thus becoming a part of the larger global community and the Concern Worldwide family.

GCC 2017 Chicago Global Youth Summit

GCC 2017 Chicago Global Youth Summit

Three years ago, beginning in New York City and expanding to two additional cities in the Chicago and Boston greater metropolitan areas, GCC brought together students, teachers and learning communities for a powerful year-long program. The program components consist of curriculum, collaboration, community activism and experiential learning. In the year-long program, devoted teachers in New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts teach curriculum on a variety of global issues preparing them for our flagship events in each city: the annual Global Youth Summit.  The 2016-2017 year-long curriculum has focused on complex emergencies and its impact on those living in extreme poverty in vulnerable locations worldwide.

This year’s Global Youth Summits brought together over 200 students and their teachers throughout our three program cities, Boston, Chicago and NYC.  Some schools traveled several hours to attend the summit and we were overwhelmed with their dedication to the GCC program.  The summit is a day of collaboration, creativity and innovation as students are gathered into mixed schools groups and are assigned a country team to represent.


Complex Emergencies

At the Global Youth Summit students are tasked with:

  • -Researching their country’s context and history.
  • -Understanding the impact of complex emergencies on the country and its people.
  • -Developing emergency response and long term solutions to complex emergencies utilizing a $1 million budget.
  • -Making a creative presentation before a panel of judges which outlines the specifics of their project proposal and budget allocations.

The summits provided an opportunity for students to learn from Concern Worldwide US staff members who are experts in complex emergencies, emergency response, project development, humanitarian program cycle, policy and advocacy.  This year’s panel of speakers included Kirk Prichard, U.S. Director of Humanitarian Programs, Abby Bruell, Senior Policy Officer of Humanitarian Programs and Michelle Dann, Program Officer of Humanitarian Programs for Concern Worldwide U.S.

Concern Worldwide U.S. Staff NYC


Staff members and teachers together provided direction and guidance for the challenging work the students faced to produce project proposals which were presented to a panel of judges at the end of the summit day.  The presentations included powerful poetry, newscasts and visuals which were informative, innovative and creative.  Winning teams brought home treasures collected during last year’s field visit to Malawi.

Here are projects/presentations from our teams at the 2017 summits:

Team EBOLA: Sierra Leone/Liberia – NYC summit

Team Haiti – NYC summit    

Team Central African Republic – Boston summit

Students continue their work with the Community Action Plan portion of the program leading to the opportunity to apply to take part in a field experience to one of the 26 countries that Concern works in for a hands-on global education experience.  Each school across the three cities has now entered into the Community Action Plan (CAP) portion of the year-long program.  Their latest challenge is to implement an action to Educate, Advocate or Fundraise for issues and impacts related to complex emergencies in their communities.  Students are taking the skills and knowledge that they have learned in the last several months and are taking direct action in their cities and towns with far reaching global effects.

We are anticipating with GREAT excitement the CAP projects that our exceptional student leaders will develop!  Stay tuned to learn of their accomplishments coming soon.  Join us on Facebook to see more of the photos from each of our Global Youth Summits in Boston, Chicago and New York City.