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World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, Promotion of International Understanding

Mission: The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting a deeper understanding of key contemporary international issues throughout Western Pennsylvania. Established in 1931, the Council is committed to informing opinion leaders and decision-makers about developments around the world as they unfold – and to educating them about the relevance of such developments to the region. The Council has a special focus on secondary schools throughout the region, and works to give students and teachers a more nuanced understanding of the global issues of our time.

Target demographics: educate the community about current world affairs.

Programs: Through its Education Programs the Council works with students and teachers in secondary schools throughout the region. Each year the Council organizes and hosts over 100 events focused on the foreign policy challenges which lie ahead for the successor generation. These events are tailored to a student audience, and reach a combined total of over 11,000 students and teachers in nearly 300 area schools. As a result of these activities – and through the use of modern technology – students in Western Pennsylvania have had the opportunity to engage each other as well as their counterparts in secondary schools from as far away as Brazil, Italy, the Republic of Georgia, South Africa, and Taiwan. The Council also conducts a range of Public Policy Programs for the professional community. Each year, the Council hosts approximately 10 luncheon discussions with major international leaders. Past speakers have included Condoleezza Rice, Thomas Friedman, Turkish Ambassador Namik Tan, and Former Prime Minister of South Korea, Ambassador Han Duk-Soo. The Council also uses other formats – such as breakfast briefings and evening discussion programs – to attract more younger and mid-career professionals to its events and engage them in a discussion of these issues.

Community Stories

66 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of being involved and benefitting from their expertise and programs since 1975!!
It has provided teachers and students and our region a window to the world.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In my first year as a teacher in 1975 I became involved with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. Forty-one years later I am amazed and in awe of the work of the Council in providing the city and region of Pittsbugh a global perspective. The region has gone from one of an industrial global center to now the center of technology, innovation and medicine. The World Affairs Council has been there every step of the way providing experiences and insight to our world. Today as they did when I first experience their mission over forty years ago they provide the teachers and students the opportunity to understand their world and their place in the world.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I started attending World Affairs Council events when I was a student in high school outside of Pittsburgh. Early on, this organization provided spaces and opportunities for students to be active participants in activities that shaped our outward thinking, particularly important for those of us whose small towns couldn't hold in our dreams of engaging with the whole big world, its people and cultures. In my junior year, my high school geography teacher nominated me for the WAC's Global Travel Scholar award, the Council's yearly scholarship that sponsors high students to participate in the Experiment in International Living summer program abroad. I still remember everything about the moment I received the phone call from Annie, who told me that the Council had chosen me to go to Turkey. Those 5 weeks in Turkey were the most defining time of my life, which I was able to have all because of the World Affairs Council. They saw that spark inside of me--the one that wanted to know all it could about the rest of the world-- and provided me with the experience that set it wildly aflame.

The World Affairs Council provides a place for students who want to engage with the world, who look outside of their own life experiences and yearn to understand those of others, who have the makings of Global Citizens. My relationship with the Council did not end after my summer as a Global Travel Scholar. David Murdoch, the then chairman of the board, became one of my closest mentors. He, along with the other members of the Council, always encouraged and supported me throughout every single step of my journey from college to beyond. The work that the Council does is crucial. In our world where the divisions between different peoples and cultures are only widening, the work that the WAC does, from high school global events to sending students across the world to live with host families and immerse themselves in another culture, is the work that is going to repair and strengthen the ties between us all as a humanity. It's a big statement, but after seeing the wonders that WAC and their Global Travel Scholars program accomplishes and the transformations that occur within students as they begin their journeys as Global Citizens, I firmly stand by it. I, for one, would not be where I am now without the World Affairs Council, and I am so thankful that they are there continuing their work for students like me.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The WAC of Pittsburgh is an outstanding organization. They perform tremendous outreach to schools for both students and teachers. Their programming is high quality and serves to promote greater awareness of the impact foreign affairs have on the United Stares. The organization does an exemplary job of promoting greater understanding of global issues and cultures.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

In my role as a high school teacher, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has provided exceptional opportunities to both my students and me. From sending me on an academic expedition to the European Union (Brussels and Vienna) to exposing students to top military experts from the U.S. Army War College, the World Affairs Council never stops working toward its mission of making students and teachers more globally aware. I can emphatically say that the World Affairs Council has propelled both me and my students to be highly engaged in the critical issues that shape the future of both our country and the world.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The student engagement and educational programs are excellent. They support and provide students experiences in World events that are timely and relevant. World leaders and local experts provide instruction and information in a variety of ways: Video conferences, educational programs , summer courses and a certificate program for students who desire to specialize in global affairs and leadership . The council also sponsors two leadership conferences a year for students to engage with other local, national and International experts and students. They are one of the most engaged and active support programs for high school students. Every month the Council opens its doors to students and educators to their professional programs, in addition to the planned programs they offer. They actively reach out to all schools and students and especially support social and cultural diversity with whom they target their outreach. They are however, inherently diverse with the experiences they offer. The World Affairs Council exemplifies diversity. They may be the only way local students can meet with world leaders and discuss world events. But I suggest it is the mission of bringing together people of all racial, religious, social and ethnic backgrounds that the World Affairs Council best serves their mission. We are very fortunate to have them as a resource in our area . The pictures included are a few images of the programs sponsored by the Council and our participation within the last school year.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I only became involved with the WAC of Pittsburgh this summer, but already it has provided me with so many incredible and life-changing opportunities. The people there are great and through the WAC, my eyes have truly been opened in regards to what I'm capable of and what I'd like to do later in life.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have worked with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh for 4 years in my role as Enrichment Facilitator at Hampton High School. Their educational outreach programs have been invaluable to my students. World Affairs Pittsburgh has provided my students with leadership opportunities, travel experiences, international videoconference planning and global scholar certificates. They are a 21st century skills promoting organization that has been a welcome partner in our educational endeavors.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I became involved with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh in my sophomore year of high school through their Global Leadership Certificate program. They did an exceptional job of developing and laying out this program, and it is the most valuable experience I have ever had. I had to complete internationally-focused experiences and then write reflections upon them, as well as completing two larger projects, one being a capstone that served as the final experience. The point of this final experience is essentially to apply what you have learned about the world to something in your local life. What I chose to do was start an international news broadcast through my school's video announcements. I write the stories about the biggest international events at the time, I anchor the show, and I edit the segment. Producing this segment made me realize that I wanted to be a journalist, which I have only the World Affairs Council to thank for. Truly, the World Affairs Council is a life-changing organization and it has helped me not only to learn more about the world around me, but also about myself. Working with the World Affairs Council and the wonderful people who put their heart and soul into its programming and success has been one of the greatest honors I have ever had, and I encourage anyone and everyone to participate in the countless events and experiences that the World Affairs Council puts on. It will truly be life-changing.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am well-acquainted with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh through its Global Leadership Certificate (GLC) high school program. The council has given me valuable opportunities to develop my leadership skills, as well as to learn about global issues, international perspectives, and world cultures. For example, I was able to star in a diversity documentary, "Around the World in Pittsburgh" by the Nicholas Sparks Foundation (in cooperation with the World Affairs Council) to share my culture with an extensive audience. Not only was I able to speak about my heritage, but I was also able to discover new cultures and form precious friendships with like-minded students. I cannot thank the World Affairs Council enough for these precious experiences. I am greatly appreciative of the council taking time and effort to nurture my leadership skills, and more importantly, help me gain a cosmopolitan view of the increasingly interconnected, diverse world. What the Council has taught me will certainly enlighten my future, as I plan on interacting and working with people around the world - many of whom have varying backgrounds and perspectives on different issues/matters. It is extremely important to learn of diversity early to facilitate mutual understanding and respect.

I am truly grateful to the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh for kindly and continually supporting my worldly leadership. The council is a remarkable nonprofit organization that values educating and supporting the community.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Through the World Affairs Council, I have been exposed to opportunities that I never could have imagined being able to do before. As a senior in a local high school, the Council has offered me countless opportunities at minimum costs that I have enjoyed greatly. From attending a conference on US-Cuban relations to a panel in which Muslim community leaders discussed the impacts that the election has had on their lives, the events and speakers that I have attended have enriched my learning and given me perspectives that I never would have considered. All too often we only hear one side of a story, and it was very refreshing to be able to hear the other side of the story, especially when it came to how Muslims felt about the 2016 election. By organizing this event, they were able to give a view that very few would have been able to see.

I am also a participant with an online program sponsored by the Council, which focuses on global issues and allows us a space to freely discuss current events and other interesting developments in the world. It also provides us with the ability to learn more about the world around us, which I very much enjoyed, since we were able to discuss topics that we were passionate about and learn new things as well.

It is also through the Council that I was able to better explore my cultural identity. As a first generation immigrant from China, I am very curious about other cultures, and the World Affairs Council partnered with the Nicholas Sparks Foundation to create a short documentary. (LinK: https://vimeo.com/165179621). It is because of these opportunities that I have been able to explore my passion, and a large part of why I decided to major in International Relations in college is due to the experiences that the World Affairs Council has offered me. The World Affairs Council offers truly phenomenal experiences that has really broadened my views of the world around me.

1 Emma29

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I found the World Affairs Council as a student and they helped me connect to some amazing speakers in my area on subjects I was really interested in! The speakers come from all walks of life and I've learnes to just go to as many as I can get to. They also run a great new free Global Leadership certificate for high school students that connects us with other kids in the Pittsburgh area also interested in our role as members of the world and global affairs in general. It has an online component, but my favorite part is meeting the kids who participate and attending the events that are a part of it. Everyone who works for the WAC is super helpful and passionate about what they do.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough good things about the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. In my more than 7-year relationship with the Council, they have done more to expand my students' understanding of global affairs than any other classroom supplement. WAC Pittsburgh listens to teachers and students and go above and beyond to create personal relationships with schools. They bring interesting speakers to my students (in person, and via videoconference), organize a global trivia competition-- Academic WorldQuest-- and support students in achieving global travel with their Global Travel Scholarship. I've sent students to France, South Africa, India, and Peru through the council. Recently they've added a Global Leadership Certificate to help students quantify their global affairs experiences. The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is an invaluable resource within the Pittsburgh region, and the best nonprofit that I've had a chance to work with directly.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My first experience with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh was through an International Student Summit held at our school in 2010. The video conferencing opportunities that they have partnered in have been invaluable to my students. Last year my World History classes travelled to Pitt’s campus to learn about Polio. The event there connected students in Western PA with schools around the world, including the Roots school in Pakistan. Later, they read a book by Dr. Trita Parsi (with donations and help from WAC) and then we hosted a video conference where our students represented countries debating Iran’s nuclear status. This year World Affairs brought us Dr. Seth Jones from the RAND corporation to teach our students about Afghanistan and Al Qa’ida. Our students moderated the news talk-show style event and schools in Western PA, Alaska, Texas, and Wisconsin tuned in. With help from our local AIU and WAC we were able to bring in a local news personality, Ken Rice, to help prepare our moderators and producers for our Afghanistan conference. In the Iran and the recent Afghanistan projects, my department was intimately involved in the planning and execution of the conferences. Dr. Sokol and Ms. Mahsoob care about my input as a teacher and listen to suggestions from teachers and students to make these conferences work for us. I had 11th grade students from last year come up to me and ask why they didn’t get to participate in the 10th grade’s Afghanistan conference!

Partnering with the World Affairs Council has also opened up many other opportunities for my students. This will be the third year that I will have a team participating in Academic World Quest. This competition is fun for the kids, and gets them to focus on world geography, flags, history, health, and more. Some of my students have participated in other academic competitions before, but they remark that World Quest is so fun that they actually can enjoy themselves. I know that this might seem unimportant, but they also make sure to provide vegetarian options at these events. Additionally, they will talk directly to the students, answering questions face-to-face, or even via email. It’s great that World Affairs offers opportunities for my students, but as a teacher, it’s even better that they clearly care deeply and validate the young people in our region.

I could stop there, but it gets better. Last year I nominated a student for the Global Travel Scholarship offered every year in partnership with the Experiment in International Living. The lengthy process was grueling, but in March last year we got the news that one of my 11th grade students was chosen for the travel abroad scholarship-- a 5-week summer tour in France. She spent 5 weeks in France going to Paris, to provincial France to learn the language, and to Lyon to learn the art of French cooking. Her life and the trajectory of her life has been changed forever. Because of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh she had the chance to travel abroad as a seventeen year old, and it has opened her eyes to new possibilities. Word has traveled around our small school about the opportunity to spend time abroad the summer before senior year. Our kids are starting to think globally.

I am constantly thankful for the partnership that my school has with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. I teach in a small school district, and many of my kids have not been outside of this state, let alone to another country. The World Affairs Council has brought international studies to the forefront of my classes. They care about Pittsburgh youth, and they work closely with teachers to make sure that what they provide to us is meaningful in our classrooms. The authentic learning opportunities that they offer through hosting and participating in videoconferences is helping my students understand and connect with people all over the country and the world. I could not recommend this organization enough.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

Had the wonderful pleasure of working again this year with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. Early in the school year my students participated in a video conference. The preparation guide was so thorough and also extremely manageable. My students were exceptionally prepared, but I did not have to relinquish a large amount of class time. In February I took a group of students to compete at the Academic World Quest. The competition never disappoints. It is both challenging and fun for all involved. Thank you World Affairs for giving both my students and myself a way to extend our learning.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has provided my students the opportunity to experience global connections without leaving the building. The Council puts forth video conference opportunities open to students 9-12 whereby each learner researches, prepares, and discusses pertinent world issues using modern technology and teachers as facilitators. As a World Geography and Cultures instructor this fruitful involvement with learners from the global community provides genuine and authentic learning. Without the Council’s incentives and support my students would have missed a true cultural experience.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

In an increasingly globalized world, our region is blessed to have the World Affairs Council. The international connections and outreach and the intellectual stimulation the Council provides for our students is unmatched and unparalleled. Whether students meet with staff members from international diplomatic corps, international corporate professionals, university professors, or with officers from the U.S. Army War College, every Council program is relevant and thought provoking. I am proud of the Council's 80 year history of stewardship to the young people of our region and am honored to be an educator that is member of this outstanding organization.

Bill Soff
Hempfield Area High School
Greensburg, PA

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh provides extraordinary opportunities to students! I want to send them major appreciation for the Academic World Quest competition, which encourages students to study a wide range of current event related topics, then demonstrate their knoweldge in a team competition. My students love it, and I am so glad we are invited to particpate. We would never have this opportunity without them!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has been able to provide a variety of dynamic programs and experiences to my students, building 21st century global citizens and leaders who understand their role in the world today. With the Council's help and resources, we have been able to start our own club at school, and I now have middle schoolers regularly discussing current events in a new and exciting way by talking about the ethics of governance, our moral obligations, and their role in making a positive difference in this world!

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pittsburgh's World Affairs Council has brought a variety of programs to the students at Our Lady of Grace School in Scott Township for several years. From global video conferences to international speakers, we have been able to collaborate with the council on a number of in-school programs. As a result of the interest sparked by the World Affairs Council, we have developed a world affairs club for students in grades 5-8.

Our students actually look forward to spending the extra time learning about their role in a global society, and they LOVE to talk about international issues! The Council and its programs like the Student Ambassador program for middle school students have been invaluable. They have ignited a spark in our kids that continues to glow and grow stronger each year! From the first day of school, students have been asking what our international theme for the year will be and what special activities the Council has planned for us. I know that I look forward to working with the World Affairs Council just as much as my students do, and I STRONGLY encourage others to get involved!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Top notch organization! I am honored and proud to say that I am a Global Travel Scholar. The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh awarded me a phenomenal expedition...one that I'll never forget. Traveling to Japan was a life changing journey. It allowed me to gain a better appreciation for other cultures as well as my own. The staff of the organization are very professional, courteous and thorough. A "hands-on"approach throughout the entire process. Kept us well informed and encouraged you to call upon them with any questions or concerns you had. The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh made a dream a reality. I was truly thrilled to visit anime production companies, magna studios, and neighborhoods famous for contemporary art. I have greatly benefited from this highly rewarding experience and feel strongly that i will be able to relate my experience in Japan to my academic and professional goals.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council provides people with the opportunity to discover cultures all across the globe. The organization makes something that is otherwise very difficult, possible. Being able to understand another culture on the most authentic scale of interaction and immersion, is a wonderful experience, and creates international thinkers. Being able to accept other cultures and thinking internationally can help bring the world together, and The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is a strong driving force of this in our city.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is a first-class organization. As a school teacher, I have used their programming many times to benefit my students. Each time, they have shown a willingness to not only provide a comprehensive experience, but also accommodate any of my specific needs. I have donated money for a number of years.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is an invaluable resource to many schools. The programs the WACP are like none other offered in the region, and students gain unique and enriching knowledge and experiences from the great variety of programs they offer.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council has offered our students opportunities to access information and gain a variety of perspectives about the ever-changing world around them. Their support of high school programs / education is without comparison. Our students are hungry to learn more about their world and the World Affairs Council makes it relevant and brings it alive by making opportunities for students to engage with adults who are working closely with others around the world.

3 Lindsey21

Client Served

Rating: 5

I really appreciate all of the work that the World Affairs Council does for high school students, like myself, around the Pittsburgh area. I have participated in many programs with the council including the AIU International Affairs Apprenticeship Program, video conferences, and various other events. Also, I will soon be shadowing an employee at the council to get a truly hands-on experience. The council has really opened my eyes to international situations and provided me with a lot of guidance when it comes to deciding upon a career and a major for college. It has helped me realize my love for international relations and the study of how different cultures behave and interact. I cannot express enough how grateful I am for the opportunities the council has provided, and I will most definitely take advantage of their programs even more in the future.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council has opened my eyes to different cultures around the world. As a student in suburban Pittsburgh, it has given me a new perspective through video conferences with other teens around the world. Their programs have greatly influenced my goals and aspirations for the future.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a teacher at Upper St. Clair High School. The World Affairs Council has gone above and beyond in supporting academic achievement in our school. The programs they present to our students provide real world experiences and insights that compliment our classwork. Not only do they provide great programs, but they helped one of our students to make a contact with a Lt. Col. from the US Army War College who is an expert on Afghanistan. The student was able to conduct an interview with the Lt. Col. for insights into the "Peace and Conflict Studies" the student was preparing. Thank You.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Through the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, I was able to be a Youth Reporter for the One Young World convention that Pittsburgh hosted in 2012. It easily was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did I get to hear from incredible leaders such as Bill Clinton, Muhammad Yunus, and Kofi Annan, but I also got to interact with young leaders and change makers from over 180 different countries. It was incredibly inspiring and truly an experience I'll absolutely never forget! I will forever be grateful to the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh for giving high school students like myself the ability to be a part of such a life-changing experience, and for giving us the voice to spread the message of collaboration, innovation, and compassion so far and wide.

2 Catherine E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a student at Avonworth High School. The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has beyond helpful for me as a student in learning about the world around me. I have participates in the apprenticeship through AIU3 with the Council as well as the Summer Seminar on World Affairs at Dusquense university last year. The apprenticeship was particularly helpful in learning about what it takes to do numerous examples of international careers in various fields. The seminar taught me a lot about specific anecdotal stories of people helping change the world internationally, including talking to refugees from various middle eastern countries. I learned so much during both programs, which prompted me to decide that I want to pursue a career in international affairs. I only wish there was more student involvement opportunities it's the Council because I enjoy it so much!!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a teacher at Cornell High School. Over the past few years the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh sent to of our students abroad, invited our students to events, hosted events at our school, and provided professional development opportunities for our teachers. Each experience our students and teachers have had with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has been absolutely amazing. The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh really helps making Pittsburgh a remarkable place.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a social studies teacher at Elizabeth Forward. Over the past three years World Affairs Council has provided our district with a variety of speakers who have lived abroad. The sharing of experiences and cultural background with our students has been extremely valuable. World Affairs Council has literally brought the world to Elizabeth!!!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is so helpful and really work to help others!
The organization helped me and literally changed my life when I received a scholarship to study abroad in Spain. I have recommended this organization to many of my fellow classmates in my high school. I was also able to take part in a World Affairs Summer Seminar this past June. I now have knowledge of many ambassadors and foreign policy/issues and government around the world. Without this organization this wouldn't have been possible. I feel highly about The Council!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a high school student that has benefitted from the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh exponentially. My connection with the Council has lasted all through high school. Throughout freshman and sophomore years, my social studies class would attend various workshops offered by the council. Topics included The Arab Spring of 2011 and the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh. A panel of riveting speakers introduced the topic, and then the congragation would break into smaller groups in which a more in-depth discussion could be benefitted from. These events were always very enriching and helped bring the concepts we discussed in class in a real-world light.

However, the council has done much, much more for me. I applied to the Global Travel Scholarship in my junior year. After a very in-depth application process which included several essays, recommenations, and an interview, I was selected for the scholarship. Due entirely to the hardwork of the council members in securing funding, I was able to spend five weeks in Morocco without paying a dollar.

I had dreamed of traveling my entire life. However, as one of four children in a single parent family, I could never have achieved that goal on my own. Everytime I think back to the unthinkable generosity that I recieved from the council I am overcome with gratitude. Morocco changed how I look at life in countless ways. I was able to improve as a student and a human being. I was able to connect with people from another culture. Without the Council, I would not be who I am today.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Students at Pine-Richland School District have enjoyed the benefits of World Affairs Council programs for many years. Whether through guest speakers in the classroom, student competitions like Academic WorldQuest, or summer internships, Pine-Richland students' education is highly enriched. The importance of a globalized education cannot be understated. The World Affairs coiuncil is a great resource for me as a teacher.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

In my many years of teaching, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has provided to Upper St. Clair High School students numerous critical and cutting-edge programs, ones that have inspired young minds while increasing global awareness and sensibilities for hundreds of young thinkers. Programs such as the US Army War College Student Symposium and various video conferencing events with important policymakers, authors, and key global-thinkers has allowed me to extend the classroom way beyond its walls. Simply put, the WAC's critically important programs have allowed me to bring the world to my students in ways that simply be impossible otherwise.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent, up to date, important insight on the major issues of the day impacting our society and our students. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who would augment their curriculum or to any school who would like to challenge their students to think. Learning is not a science it is a shared experience and with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh it becomes magical.

Michael Cunningham
World Class Schools
Del Valle High School

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council does an outstanding job of introducing many important global topics to the Southwestern Pennsylvania region. It is perhaps the only organization in the region that has been able to reach a wide range of audiences, including students, teachers and administrators from middle and high schools, academics from area colleges and universities and members of the business community and general public. Its ability to attract speakers from around the country and the world has provided audiences with some of the best programming in any city in the United States. It is a one of the great resources in Pittsburgh.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am currently working on two projects with the World Affairs Council (WAC) of Pittsburgh regarding a regional global Dignity and Respect campaign and a global project based learning experience for regional and international high school students. Collaborating with WAC of Pittsburgh has been a rewarding experience for the students, teachers and school administrators because of the organization's international connections and reputation of delivering programs of the highest caliber. The focus of the events and programs have provided an introduction of the social, cultural and economic uniqueness of the global community.

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

As an educator who has been teaching students for over a decade, I feel that there is nothing as powerful as having people from diverse cultural backgrounds work with one another and tackle problems together. Students and teachers from National Dali High School- Taiwan had the privilege to connect with their peers from USA, Greece, South Africa, Brazil, Canada and many other countries through the programs the WAC Pittsburgh has provided over the years. We have been able to debate, learn, and negotiate with peers across several continents since 2009, collaborating in real time right from our own country, an opportunity that would have otherwise been impossible without WAC. The WAC programs are extremely valuable not only because of diversity but also in that they have made it possible for the underprivileged to receive structured international education, a major breakthrough for those who will never have a chance to set foot abroad. Through each well thought-out project, WAC has enabled students along with educators to learn and seize the opportunity to strive for their best while collaborating with people around the world!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The council has provided my students with invaluable opportunities that we otherwise would not have had access to. From lunch with the French Ambassador to the United States, the U.S. Army War College presentations, to the multiple video conference opportunities that the Council offers...the students are put into contact with people, "who have been there" and have real-world knowledge in regard to international relations. They and I are appreciative of the programs (and the people) that the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh produces.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For a small organization, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh does amazing things for students and members of the community. They are able to leverage technology so that students in Pittsburgh can work directly with other students around the world. No other organization brings that level of interaction to students who may not have left the state. The events for the community, whether it be breakfast briefings, lunches, or political salon's, stimulate an engaged and intellectual discussion on a broad array of topics. I would highly recommend this organization to others and support this organization as it brings global education to Pittsburgh.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council had offered invaluable opportunities to my students. Their Global Travel Scholarships have enabled students to travel who would never have had such an opportunity otherwise. In addition to the scholarships the Council provides the students with the supports that they need to have a successful experience: reassuring reticent parents, the chance to hear about the experiences of prior scholars, and naturally lots of information about how to have a successful trip. Travel is often life-changing, and for my students who have been lucky enought to participate it has had a lasting effect.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has been an invaluable resource in my teaching. Through video conferencing and group lectures sponsored by WAC, my students have had the experience of interacting with some of the top scholars in many fields related to Social Studies. One of my students was even granted a scholarship to travel to Italy and France in 2012 through WAC. All of our dealings with the World Affairs Council have been professional and enlightening, both for the students and staff at my school.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has been an invaluable resource throughout my teaching career. It is because of the informed and caring staff that my students and I have been able to grow in our international knowledge and forge connections around the world that we would not have had the opportunity to otherwise. I have participated in their Army War College briefings, served on their teacher advisory board and taken my students to participate in their Student Ambassador Program among other programs. All were a huge success. Thank you WACOP for everything!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I absolutely adore this organization. I have gotten incredible value out of the events the WAC offers for the professional community. They are informative and inspiring and always have guest speakers that are bring tremendous insights about the topic (and they are always in interesting locations so they get me out and about and connected in Pittsburgh). The value of education and insights in a global world cannot be underestimated and the WAC is contributing to making the business community in Pittsburgh smarter, more connected and open to the world.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh conducted a fantastic video conference at our high school which included a world famous author and member of several administrations, Joseph Cirincione. The program was entitled Fifty Years Since the Cuban Missile Crisis What the Future Holds for Global Peace and Security. It was a student driven program with students asking questions directly to Mr. Circione.
Students were engaged, not only with historical topics, but also current situations such as N. Korea and Iran. THe WAC has been an excellent partner and resource for our students.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a public policy researcher, I value the excellent programs provided by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. They routinely bring global thinkers to Pittsburgh, not just to talk, but to engage with the community. As the world becomes more connected, it is essential that Pittsburgh's students, business leaders, educators and all other residents learn about global challenges and opportunities. The professional staff of the World Affairs Council does a fantastic job of preparing our region's residents to thrive in a global environment.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am forever indebted to the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh for their outstanding programs, and dedication to our students. Three of my students were given the opportunity for international travel, forever changing their lives, because of the WAC-Pittsburgh.

Also, I've been able to attend many of their outstanding programs - lunch time and otherwise, and I always learning something new and valuable.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a teacher, I have worked with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh for the past 5 years. In that time, they have sponsored 3 of my students on all-expense paid summer learning programs to foreign countries. Each year, they also bring guest speakers to my students and organize the Student Ambassador Forum along with multiple video conferences with foreign schools. I have found the organization to be extremely accommodating and thorough in everything they do. In my opinion, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is an entirely professional organization that far exceeds the goals it sets for itself.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Pittsburgh educational community is fortunate to have the opportunities for our students that are available through the World Affairs Council. For the past two years my students have been involved in the Student Ambassador Program. The international speakers that have visited our schools have sparked an enthusiasm and interest within my students to learn more about other cultures. The students listen intently and eagerly and ask a variety of questions throughout the presentations. This program sparked the students’ interest in ways that I could not reproduce alone in the classroom. This speaks volumes about its effectiveness. When the students attend the culminating conference they are able to interact with a diverse group of professionals. Their presentations help them to become geographically literate and better prepared for the global community. This kind of exposure is essential as we raise our youth to become future leaders in an increasingly complex, interconnected, and diverse world.


1

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a high school principal at a public school, I find the programming from the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh to be invaluable. The opportunities that my students have had to hear directly from experts across the country and the world about pertinent global issues has been astounding. These experiences are topical and have incredible impact. Additionally, the opportunity to collaborate and speak with students from other countries helps to break down stereotypes and promote positive cultural awareness. Over the last couple of years, our students have communicated with students from Brazil, Pakistan, Slovenia, and Ireland, to name a few. The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has become a reliable and vital partner for us that supports our curriculum and the promotion of 21st century skills.-----Ken Lockette, Principal, Avonworth High School

Steve46

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dr. Sokol and his talented team at the World Affairs Council have made tremendous strides increasing the public exposure of the WAC of Pittsburgh in recent years and continue to do so, today. Events cover a broad spectrum of interests and there is truly "something for everyone." I have been a participant in several events, but clearly the keystone event that highlights the importance and impact of the organization was my participation in a week long fact-finding mission to Europe. Aimed at increasing awareness of the European continent's impact on American interests (as well as a sizable dose of history by those who lived and created it), the trip's well planned agenda and remarkable speaker list speaks to global connections the Pittsburgh Council has to offer. The Council's work is helping to drive Pittsburgh's rebirth.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council literally "brings the World to Pittsburgh" by inviting international leaders, scholars, and decision-makers to Pittsburgh to share their insight on very timely events that shape our world. Council members and participants have the opportunity to meet and enter into discussion with these international leaders and experts. The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is a very vibrant organization. I had the privilege of visiting Brussels and Prague with fellow Pittsburgh professionals via the World Affairs Council- an opportunity to learn first hand about the European Union and the challenges facing Europe from economic and political perspectives. What a tremendous opportunity!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has proved to be an invaluable asset as an educator. They are able to offer the students opportunities to connect with global leaders and world citizens. Students are able to participate in video-conferences either in attendance with the host or via conferencing equipment as well as being invited to attend lectures and conferences. Students need exposure to new ideas, people and cultures, the council allows them these types of opportunities consistently. A wonderful example of their work was bringing famed author and Iranian expert Dr. Trita Parsi. The World Affairs Council procured Dr. Parsi's latest book for students to read and analyze and then brought him to Cornell for an informative interview session with a group of World Cultures Students. Not only was Dr. Parsi and excellent resource for my students he was also an important influence on them. He shared his knowledge as well as his delight at how much Cornell students wanted to know and were willing to do in order to learn. Experiences like this can never be replaced for our students.

Beyond students, the World Affairs Council offers so much to teachers. They are willing to take the extra time to create a conference for your class or school, share any and all resources that they have, they even extend travel opportunities to teachers. They offer educators the opportunity to enrich their classrooms and they make it easy to do.

I have been fortunate enough to work with the World Affairs Council on several levels, please support their work! What they do for teachers, students and their community is unsurpassed!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council offered me the best oppurtunity a teenager at 16 could ever imagine. Without this oppurtunity I wouldn't be the person I am today. I never thought traveling the world was possible But the world affairs council tought me that anything is impossible if thats what you want it to be. You make it possible by going for it. I participated in two programs Both the Global Travel Scholarship Program (a program where students are sent accros the globe to experience new discoveries and culture a new life and new outlook on life back at home) (I traveled to Morocco for a month as a child, and came back a young leader wanting to make a difference not just in my life but in everyone around me I wanted to be the example I want to see as a world leader), and the Summer Seminar on World Affairs (information, history, excellent speakers, and good people this seminar teaches you about the outside world and the struggles and successes of the world today). Both taught many things and opened up my mind to things I never thought. While in the process of the seminar I wasn't to happy maybe a little board but when I traveled out of the country I seen some of the knowledge I learned as a reality. everything you learn will benefit you if you apply it, and somehow you find ways to actually experience it and The World Affairs Council helped me do just that! I will be particpating in the One Young World Summit as a youth reporter just because of the oppurtunities and doors that this program offers there participants

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure to work with the World Affairs Council for a number of years. One of the most amazing events that I have had the opportunity to participate in was held at our school dealing with Cybersecurity. The World Affairs Council brought experts in cybersecurity to work with our students. The panel included the Consulate General of Estonia and a writer for Wired magazine. They also arranged for our student to talk to students through videoconference about the issue with students as far away as Pakistan and Taiwan. I really cannot say enough about the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. Every project that I have been involved in with them has been absolutely top notch. They are one of my absolute favorite organizations in Pittsburgh.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of partnering with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh for two years. The World Affairs Council brings numerous opportunities to students around the region that they might not receive otherwise. They provide ongoing opportunities for our students to connect with experts and their peers in other countries through videoconferencing programs. They also provide our students with opportunities to compete with one another through Academic WorldQuest and to see individuals, such as former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, speak locally. These are just a fraction of the school outreach opportunities that educate and expose teachers and students to a global perspective.

Most recently one of our teachers had the opportunity to travel with the World Affairs Council to Europe to learn about the European Union. When she returned from the trip she was not only reinvigorated, but also had an intimate knowledge of the EU and great first hand stories that she could share with her students when discussing the role and workings of the EU in her classroom.

Please support the work of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. More than any other organization I have worked with throughout my career, they provide an immeasurable amount of enrichment and support to the teachers and students in the Pittsburgh area.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2011, I had the opportunity, along with 11 other young professionals fro Pittsburgh, to travel to Brussels and Prague for a week to learn more about the governance and structure of the European Union and how it affects or could affect our region's business. The trip was extremely well-organized; we had one session after another with high-level individuals representing a variety of different agencies, with just enough time in between for reflection and a little bit of sleep! Although I had been a student of European studies in college, a lot had changed in 10 years, and it truly opened my eyes to what the European Union is today, the challenges it faces in the years to come, and what it means for our region. I especially liked and appreciated the efforts of the World Affairs Council to provide guidance and support where necessary to help us understand the context behind what we were hearing from those with whom we met. Since that time, I have had the opportunity to attend several sessions that the Council has held here in Pittsburgh, and have been impressed every time with the quality of the speakers and the topics presented.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affair Council of Pittsburgh has truly helped inspire students to think globally! As a social studies teacher for over 20 years, I can honestly say this organization has been the best source for speakers, workshops, and global experiences for which I have been involved. From the G-20 Student Summit, video-conferences (which brings students from the Republic of Georgia and Pakistan virtually into our schools in Western PA), summer workshops, and regional seminars, the WAC always provides high level programs for both teachers and students. Countless students I have taught over the years have referenced the WAC programs as the reason they became a better global citizen and interested in current issues. I applaud their efforts to bring the world and global experts to the students and teachers of western PA.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2011, a group of 12 teachers had the opportunity of a life-time to travel to Brussels and Vienna to study the European Union. The trip was coordinated through a grant from the EU and the hard work of The World Affairs Council. Since then, the experience has opened countless doors for my high school students. We have participated in several video conferences on critical current issues, such as, Famine and Political Crisis in Africa, Culture and Daily Life in Brazil, and hosting foreign exchange students from CIEE, just to name a few. The staff at the World Affairs Council are constantly working to provide endless resources and life time experiences for both students and teachers in order to promote global interconnectedness and hands-on educational experiences.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a high school enrichment facilitator, the WAC has been an invaluable resource in helping me to promote global citizenship. The video conferences have connected our students to the countries of Georgia, Pakistan, Taiwan, Brazil. and others as students listen to high caliber speakers and engage in intercontinental discussions with their peers both in the United States and abroad. All of this occurs with a short walk down the hall to the large group instruction room where the videoconference begins and the world opens up! I also had the opportunity to travel to Brussels and Vienna with WAC to study the European Union with a dozen other western Pennsylvania educators of all ages. That experiential learning exceeded what I could ever hope to absorb from a text book. As the ideas have percolated in my brain, my trip has given rise to countless programs that enrich the global education of our students. None of this would be possible without the outstanding programs, the knowledgable staff, and the global connections brought to us by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

Pamela20

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Worlds Affairs Council has been instrumental in directing the development of a virtual cross cultural exchange experience for high school students in the Pittsburgh area. As a support coordinator with CIEE they have offered me their expertise, support and partnerships allowing hundreds of high schools the opportunity to participate in a unique virtual classroom across cultures with participants spanning the globe from Brazil to China. Too name a few, students from Germany, Denmark, Brazil, China and America have come together throughout the school year to share ideas, thoughts, traditions and cultures in an effort to gain awareness and understanding about the cultural differences that exist. Through this project students from varying cultures are learning how to relate and respond to the differences that will not only enhance their current learning experiences but will impact their future as they prepare for college and the global workplace they will soon enter into.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh provides fabulous opportunities for Middle School Students to learn about the world through the Student Ambassador Program. My sixth grade students can experience the culture and history of many world countries through guest speakers that visit our school as well as participation in the Student Ambassador Conference. The program is the highlight of the year for my students.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a senior in high school, who, up until recently, has experienced other cultures and participated in world events only through community service projects and fundraisers (such as raising money for Haiti survivors, etc) in my school. Never had I imaged the opportunities awaiting me through the Pittsburgh World Affairs Council.

I first heard about the Council at the end of my junior year, after being nominated by a teacher for the Council's Travel Abroad Scholarship. I researched the Council and scholarship, and thought, 'Why not give it a shot!' Looking back now, that was a life-changing decision. From the first introductory seminar I attended about the Travel Abroad Scholarship, the Council has opened, and continues to open, countless doors for me. Since then, I have traveled to China as an Experimenter in International Living, experiencing the culture of this foreign country for a month. I've come back a more broad-minded, worldly person. This remarkable experience has, sincerely, shaped the way I intend to live the rest of my life. I owe it to the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

In addition to the amazing feet of sending me to China on full scholarship, they were there every step of the way to ensure that my experience was a rewarding as it could be. It was. Through pre-departure and welcome home seminars they sent me off and brought me home safely. Now that I've returned, I take pride in being a part of the World Affairs Council family. And it does truly feel like a family. I met and formed a tight-knit group with the 17th other recipients of the scholarship. We still stay in touch and share memories of our trips. Beginning college applications and the scary transition into the "real world" the Council administration has helped me with advice in career paths, letters of recommendations, and stand as examples of people in fields that I would like to one day pursue.

Back from China, I am now participating in the World Affairs Council's Apprenticeship in International Affairs. I look forward hearing from professionals in international relations fields at each seminar and know that they will continue to shape my career path.

The Council has brought me to the point I am now. It has shaped how I view my future. They have taken my view of my life and future in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and widened it to encompass the entire world. It goes without saying the number of opportunities and experiences they've opened my eyes to world-wide, and I am more excited than ever for my future.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh has definitely impacted me and helped me choose where I'm going with my life. I first attended one of their programs in my Sophomore year thinking that I was going to become a Judge. Since continuing to attend their programs haphazardly and being chosen for amazing opportunities they offered me, I have since come to realize that my true pursuit was in International Relations. They have helped not only my activities resume, but have led me on the right path to further opportunities that I never would have found otherwise. I got to speak Japanese as a Japanese Ambassador for the Pittsburgh G-20 International Student Summit, attended a cyber-security seminar, attended countless informative region-based seminars, spent 2 weeks of my summer on scholarship at their Summer Seminar on World Affairs learning about international issues and problem-solving with groups. They have given me an international affairs apprenticeship 2 years in a row in which a group of students just like me get to interact and learn from one another and prestigious speakers. Most importantly, they handed me a brochure with information that changed my life. Because of the activities I could put on my application, and through their brochure, I was able to apply to a program that awarded me with a full-scholarship to study in South Korea this summer. Tracing it all back, some of my best opportunities came either directly or indirectly from the World Affairs Council, and I definitely have to thank them for that!