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Review for World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Role:  General Member of the Public