Abby grew up in a leafy, comfortable California suburb. When she was 16, she spent a summer living in a poor rural community in Nicaragua and the experience transformed her view of the world. Since then she has worked to ensure that many – and more diverse – young Americans can have similar transformative experiences. The idea for Global Citizen Year grew out of her ten years working at the intersection of education and international development.
Less than 1% of Americans will ever meet any of the 2.6 billion people around the world who struggle to survive on less than $2 per day. This isolates Americans and distorts their view of the world and much of the talent that might create poverty solutions goes elsewhere. Partnering with high schools and colleges in the U.S., and NGOs around the world, Global Citizen Year gives talented kids the chance to work as apprentices in Asia, Africa and Latin America. By getting the right kids, providing intensive training and a useful role in a good organization, Global Citizen Year sets up a transformative experience for a group with a huge potential contribution.