Letter from Executive Director Jessica Miller

Plus a sneak-peek of our 2020 programs!

Greetings Staff Changemakers!

2019 has wrapped and it is with great pride and appreciation that we extend our deepest thanks to each of you. The literal blood, sweat and tears that it took from every one of you, your willingness to give, share and infuse our shared values into each day and interaction is the guiding light behind our success. You all shared yourselves and your powerful energy with our students, their families, each other, the communities in which we work--we see you!  We set out to inspire the next generation to realize their potential to transform the world. In spite of hiccups, road blocks and challenges, the vast majority of students returned home changed and inspired and this is truly a direct result of each fearless leader. Most importantly, you kept our students safe, and helped to deliver  on GLA's promise. We had an overall record-breaking student program rating with an average of 92% satisfaction with our student leaders! This is truly incredible and a testament to the caliber of each of you, your teams and the incredible programs provided. Thank you!

As we swiftly embark into the 2020 season, we set our sights high to continue inspiring students and staff and growing our movement. We are thrilled to announce that we are launching several new programs, as well as a new program model this season, which we believe will allow us to further our mission by impacting and reaching more students through an educational approach and curriculum we've created using exploratory travel, combined with core leadership.

See below for more distinction between our programs models that you will see on our new website and catalog coming in mid-October!

Our CLASSIC Global Service-Learning programs include community-driven service projects and operate primarily in non-tourist communities throughout Africa, Asia & Latin America. The goal of these programs is to deliver long-term impact and transformation, both for our student participants and our host communities. Where our Europe Discovery programs go broad, our Global Service-Learning programs go deep. Through the vehicles of community service, cultural immersion and adventure, students dive deep into a topic of interest and forge connections with community leaders. Experiencing a community through the lens of service allows students the opportunity to truly get to know local residents and lends a strong sense of purpose to their travel. Students come away as more confident travelers, with an in-depth understanding of their host community and the global issues that it faces, as well as their own ability to make a meaningful difference, whether close to home or far from it.

We will continue to offer most of our 2019 offerings, as well as some new programs as well! These include:

Our NEW Europe Discovery programs feature travel to multiple destinations throughout the length of a program, and are based exclusively in Europe. The objective of these programs is to develop global citizens, while transforming participants' perspectives through exposure to unique ideas, histories, languages and cultures particular to each destination. Where our service-learning programs go deep, our Europe Discovery programs go broad. These experiences are travel-centric, focusing on the exploration of a region and theme through immersive learning and a series of excursions to a curated selection of locales. A small but meaningful community service project is also completed as a vehicle to tackle global issues within a local context, as well as meetings with local leaders to bring to life the topics, as well as experiential opportunities to do classical Europe with intention and purpose. As opposed to regular tourists out only to see the sights, our students come away as more experienced travelers ready to engage with the world as they travel, with both a broader understanding of the world-at-large and their possibilities to transform it. These programs will be in:

  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Greece
  • UK

We will also offer three multi-country programs:

  • Cities that Shaped Europe
  • Understanding the EU, and
  • The STEM Experience

More to come on this exciting new development! If you're curious, please check out our website in the coming weeks. 

Again, thank you to incredible staff team for a phenomenal, successful season and we hope to see you again for 2020!

Many thanks,

Jessica R. Miller

GLA Executive Director