Join the Movement

GLA's co-founders share their top-choice programs and invite you to join the movement to create meaningful change around the globe.

The Founders of Global Leadership Adventures didn’t set out to create a movement. They had an idea to inspire teens to realize their potential to transform the world and their role in it. An idea to develop the ethical leaders of the next generation. And that idea, through hard work and initiative, transformed into a movement. Into what today has become GLA programs operating all around the globe.

Watch the video below on GLA's Founding Story to learn how it all started.

As part of our Founders Month celebration, we invite you to join the movement. Join us on a GLA program this summer in Africa, Asia or Latin America and be the change you wish to see in the world, with other teens who share your passion for not only exploring the planet, but making a difference in it.

The five programs below are great places to start, as they are our founders' choices for destinations that had a meaningful impact on their lives. These five programs are also eligible for a Founders Grant when you enroll in a Founders Choice program by March 31, 2019:

  • $150 grant for 14-day programs when you enroll with the code FOUNDERS150
  • $300 grant for 21-day programs when you enroll with the code FOUNDERS300

To redeem your Founders Grant, enter one of the codes above (depending on the program length) in the 'scholarship code' section of your application. 

Ghana: Children of Africa

Top Choice Program of GLA Co-founder, Fred Swaniker

Fred, a native Ghanaian, was first inspired by the power of education from his mother, a school teacher who instilled the value of ethical education and access. He was given his first opportunity to serve in an educational leadership role as headmaster of a boys school in Botswana at age 17, and he has dedicated his life and career to education ever since. These experiences helped him develop his idea for both the African Leadership Academy and Global Leadership Adventures, specifically the Ghana: Children of Africa Program, which is Fred's top choice GLA program. 

Program Highlights: 

  • Tutor children at a village primary school
  • Help build and refurbish school facilities
  • Discuss current social issues facing Ghana’s women and children
  • Hike to a beautiful waterfall
  • Learn traditional African dance, batik fabric dyeing, drums and percussion
  • Explore outdoor markets and visit historic sites

Read more about this program

Guadeloupe: French Caribbean Adventure

Top Choice Program of GLA Co-founder, Peter Mombaur

Guadeloupe is Peter's favorite GLA program because French was the first language he learned outside of his native language. As a founder and company leader, he felt very passionate about offering a French language program, but not in mainland France, as it wouldn't allow for the GLA service-learning development piece at the same depth. Additionally, the service-learning theme in Guadeloupe combines community development, education, and environmental sustainability into one cohesive experience, which speak to Peter's background and passion for creating meaningful change across multiple areas of focus. 

Program Highlights:

  • Improve your French through language classes and local immersion
  • Practice communicating in French daily with native speakers
  • Support Guadeloupe's local communities and precious ecosystem with environmental and educational service projects
  • Teach English to children through a language exchange program
  • Snorkel off the island’s coast
  • Shop for handicrafts at a local market

Read more this program.

Thailand: In & Beyond the Classroom 

Top Choice Program of GLA Co-founder, Andrew Motiwalla

Andrew, a RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer), has dedicated his career of developing service programs abroad, and got his start after his stint in the Peace Corps. One of the first program sites he developed was in Thailand, so the country and the Thai people hold a special place in his heart. Andrew finds the In & Beyond the Classroom program particularly special, as it emphasizes ethical service and the theme of education, which is Andrew's lifelong passion and the driving force for his role in the founding of GLA. 

Program Highlights: 

  • Teach English at a primary school and bond with local students
  • Experience Thailand’s vibrant and colorful food, arts and music
  • Zipline through lush, rural hillsides
  • Experience authentic Thai massage
  • Visit with Buddhist monks and learn about their lives
  • Interact with and learn about elephants at a local sanctuary
  • Whitewater raft through the beautiful mountains of Northern Thailand

Read more about this program

South Africa: Social Change Project

Top Choice Program of GLA Co-founder, Chris Bradford

South Africa's Social Change Project is Chris' top choice, as his life path has been shaped by South Africa and the country holds a very special place in his heart. Born and raised in the United States, Chris shared a dorm with Fred Swaniker at Stanford University, where the two envisioned a way to create the next generation of leaders in Africa. Chris now resides in South Africa and serves as CEO of African Leadership Academy. Chris believes South Africa is the perfect place for emerging entrepreneurs to learn about diversity and the cross-generational impact of social change.

Program Highlights: 

  • Live in Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world
  • Experience the complex and multicultural society of South Africa
  • Volunteer on an education project with township youth
  • Visit Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain and Robben Island
  • Experience South Africa's animal kingdom and the earliest known tribe, the “Khoi San”
  • Explore South Africa's world-famous Garden Route

Read more about this program

Costa Rica: Spanish Service Adventure

Top Choice Program of GLA Executive Director, Jessica Miller

From serving as a program staff member on GLA's inagural Costa Rica program in 2007, to facilitating the opening of GLA's Costa Rica office in 2014, to moving her family to Costa Rica to live abroad for three months in 2018, it's safe to say that this destination is very special to Jessica for many reasons.

Additionally, Jessica is also extremely passionate about language learning, and she believes Costa Rica is the perfect place for being immersed in a language and culture different from your own. This program is also Jessica's top choice due to its focus on the environment and sustainability, which have long been passions of hers having grown up with a love for the great outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. 

Program Highlights: 

  • Take your Spanish to the next level through a structured immersion program
  • Practice with native speakers in an encouraging community
  • Volunteer on projects focusing on infrastructure or the environment
  • See wildlife in Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Go ziplining through lush forest canopy
  • Whitewater raft the world-class Pacuare River (21-Day Flagship Program only)

Read more about this program

Terms & Conditions:

  • This grant is only available for the five Founders Choice programs, as listed on this page. It cannot be applied to other programs.
  • This grant cannot be combined with any other special offers.
  • This grant is only available on enrollments submitted between March 18 and March 31, 2019, in the programs listed on this webpage.
  • This grant must be redeemed by by following the instructions outlined above, using one of the scholarship codes above on the website enrollment page. You may also call our office at +1 858 771-0645 for assistance with enrolling in a program and redeeming the grant.
  • In the event that a student chooses to switch his or her program of choice to a session not included in this grant offer, the grant will not transfer over to the new balance.