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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

65 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.