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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Learnserve International

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services

Mission: LearnServe International sparks high school students' passion to make a difference, and equips them with the knowledge, tools, and relationships to effectively drive solutions to pressing global challenges.

Results: Since 2004 LearnServe has: a) helped launch more than 250 emerging social entrepreneurs; b) led more than 400 students and teachers to serve communities in Zambia, Paraguay, Jamaica, Japan, China, and Ethiopia; and c) directly engaged more than 2,500 young people in social innovation.

Target demographics: High School students in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area.

Geographic areas served: DC, MD, and VA

Programs: LearnServe Fellows - social entrepreneurship training: students design and launch their own social ventures. LearnServe Abroad - hands-on service-learning in Zambia, Paraguay, and Jamaica.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Hugh R.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Yes, LearnServe changes the lives of the students it serves through their Fellows and Abroad programs, but more importantly, these young people change the lives, for the better, of others and inspire their school communities to take action. They discover that one person can make a difference, and that lesson will stay with them for their lifetimes.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Learn Serve is an organization which brings students together from independent and public schools to develop ventures in social entrepreneurship that benefit their communities. The participants learn not only from their association with one another as Fellows and from developing their projects, but also some of them have the opportunity to travel together to Africa, South America and Jamaica for service projects. I have been involved almost from the very beginning and am convinced of the huge value of the work and the passion that the staff brings to this very important educational enterprise.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My passion is the educational experience that makes you say, "Oh, I never thought about it that way before!" Over the years I have found that international travel is a guaranteed incubator for this kind of experience. But in the six years I have volunteered with LearnServe, it has shown me that this can happen across the world or right in your own back yard when you bring students and teachers from all corners of the community and focus them on creating constructive change. I love the energy, passion, honesty that the LearnServe Fellows bring to their social project planning across the DC metropolitan area. They learn from each other as much as they learn from the program, and they turn it back into their communities. In the summer, I love reading the blogs the students and teachers write from their travels with LearnServe Abroad, working in developing communities in Zambia, Paraguay or Jamaica. Again, they learn from each other and they learn from those they meet. As they work in these foreign communities, they reflect on the differences and similarities with their home communities. LearnServe programs are filled with "ah-ha" moments. I am passionate about what LearnServe accomplishes, real learning and honest service to our communities.


Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with LearnServe International for four years and I know it has changed my life for the best. Before LearnServe International, I didn't know the type of person I wanted to be, but with the support of this organization, I now know. With being a part of LSI, I have met so many great people including Directors, Scott Rechler and Sabine Keinath. I travelled abroad to Zambia for the LearnServe Abroad trip in 2010. Because of LSI, I was given the amazing opportunity to intern for Ashoka, a global organization, which deals with the worlds leading social entrepreneurs, and I serve on the Advisory Board as a LearnServe Alum, I am proud to have my 15 year-old sister take part in the LearnServe Fellows Program as I did. Overall, I am such a fan of LearnServe! Thank you!