Join us for a week-long, interactive online course this summer focused on leadership development, designed for high school students, with special guest speakers and guided mentor groups.

Join Us Online

*Registration for OLA sessions starting in June 2020 is now closed*


This 5-day course is a best of GLA offering, featuring global NGO, non-profit and B-Corp partners, as well as alumni, to showcase some of GLA’s most popular curricular themes daily.

Designed to support development and career exploration, this online course is orchestrated through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal? To inspire the next generation to realize their potential to transform the world and their role in it during these unexpected times.


We believe the need for young people to build the skills to lead with confidence through dynamic global challenges is clearer than ever. Join our series of incredible guest speakers, group discussions and leadership learning.

Our team has partnered up with some of the most incredible leaders and organizations around the world to prepare to offer our students this one-week online GLA course.

There are five courses, with three parts each day, and they are designed to allow students to engage and move to break up the challenge of virtual learning and imitate a program.

This 5-day course is a great introduction for students interested in discovering their leadership style, considering future service-learning opportunities abroad and participating in guided reflection.


Perspectives on Global Leadership
Kaleidoscope of Global Health Today
Eco & Wildlife Conservation: The Role, Impact and Future
Ethical, Sustainable and Responsible Travel


Global Citizenship


Choose your preferred 2020
course session dates


Course #1: Mon. June 22 (9:00am – 1:00pm PT)

Course #2: Tue. June 23 (9:00am – 1:00pm PT)

Course #3: Wed. June 24 (9:00am – 1:00pm PT)

Course #4: Thu. June 25 (9:00am – 1:00pm PT)

Course #5: Fri. June 26 (9:00am – 1:00pm PT)


Course #1: Mon. June 29 (9:00am – 1:00pm PT)

Course #2: Tue. June 30 (9:00am – 1:00pm PT)

Course #3: Wed. July 1 (9:00am – 1:00pm PT)

Course #4: Thu. July 2 (9:00am – 1:00pm PT)

Course #5: Fri. July 3 (9:00am – 1:00pm PT)


Each day of the series has 3 components that touch on the physical, mental and emotional impacts of the subjects covered in our week-long course, as well as the impacts of COVID-19.

Everyday at 9:00am PT the course begins, kicking off with Part 1. Then, after a short break there is a 90-minute keynote with special guest leaders, followed by an additional short break. Finally, we will wrap each day with a guided Mentor group, where students will meet to digest, reflect and connect with peers alongside an inspirational Mentor.

The small Mentor groups will be the same group of teens each day, with no more than 12 students per Mentor group. Will include the entire student group for the course session.

Each day will run approximately 4 hours and end at 1:00pm PT.

Every student who registers and completes the GLA Online Leadership Academy will receive a Certificate of Completion at the conclusion of the session. So if you’re looking to bolster your university applications and college essays, or add to your merits, this course is designed with you in-mind.


Explore our course catalog below to get a sneak peek at your experience



Leadership Course #1: Perspectives on Global Leadership

Monday from 9:00am – 1:00pm PT on June 22 or June 29

Part 1: Introductory Small Mentor Groups

Part 2: Meet GLA Founders & Social Entrepreneurs

Part 3: Small Mentor Group: Reflection on Leadership

Leadership Course #2:  Kaleidoscope of Global Health Today

Tuesday from 9:00am – 1:00pm PT on June 23 or June 30

Part 1: Ghanian Dance from Ghana

Part 2: Global Public Health Administration & Medicine with MSF / Doctors Without Borders Country Director & M.D. Perspectives from a GLA Alumnus

Part 3: Small Mentor Group: Reflecting on the Global Pandemic & the Path Forward

Leadership Course #3: Eco & Wildlife Conservation: The Role, Impact and Future

Wednesday from 9:00am – 1:00pm PT on June 24 or July 1

Part 1: Guided Meditation from Bali

Part 2: Meet GLA’s Service Partners Our Land Eco & Elephant Conservation in Thailand & Somkhanda Big 5 Game Reserve in South Africa who will share from the field on the reality and challenges of wet markets and more!

Part 3: Small Mentor Group: Reflecting on our shared planet and human impact

Leadership Course #4: Ethical, Sustainable and Responsible Travel

Thursday from 9:00am – 1:00pm PT on June 25 or July 2

Part 1: Yoga from Costa Rica

Part 2: Learn from a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer  who never went home on topics from Social Change through Travel and GLA Alumni who volunteered in the DR, and then went on to join the non-profit and continues to impact change in this area.

Part 3: Small Mentor Group: Personal Ethics & Aims

Leadership Course #5: Global Citizenship Pathways

Friday from 9:00am – 12:30pm PT on June 26 or July 3

Part 1: 21st Century Leadership for Globals from Leadership Expert & Author

Part 2: Possible Paths, Peace Corps, Living Overseas and Working Abroad

Part 3: Small Mentor Group Capstone: One Meaningful Goal (OMG) Capstone, Final Reflection, Life Post-Pandemic and while Awaiting Overseas Travel

Earn Your Service Hours

Still Want to Earn Your Service Hours in 2020? Consider Our Academy Add-on Option:

1. Earn up to 20 service hours and receive a Service Certificate from GLA.

2. Discover new ways to safely volunteer locally in the midst of COVID-19.

3. Select from various volunteering options that abide by social distancing standards –OR– develop your own project to meet the needs in your community.

4. Create and submit a project portfolio that you can use to plan, execute and scale your project. And share on future applications!

5. Make a meaningful impact in your local community and be the change from home.

This add-on option for earning Community Service Hours and a GLA Service Certificate is included free with your course. It is available upon request, and is optional for those seeking to complete up to 20 formal service hours.


Meet Our Guest Lecturers and Activity Leaders


Fred was named to the Time 100 list of the one hundred most influential people in the world in 2019. Fred is deeply passionate about Africa and believes that the missing ingredient on the continent is good leadership. In line with this, he has founded two organizations that aim to catalyse a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial African leaders: African Leadership Academy and the African Leadership Network.

In recognition of his work in developing Africa’s future leaders, Fred was selected as one of 115 young leaders to meet US President Obama at the first-ever President’s Forum for Young African Leaders held at the White House in 2010. He has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and was listed by Forbes Magazine among the top ten young ‘power men’ in Africa in 2011. Fred was also recognized by Echoing Green as one of fifteen “best emerging social entrepreneurs in the world” in 2006. He was a 2009 TED Fellow and is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network.

Fred began his professional career as a consultant with McKinsey and Company and has an MBA from Stanford Business School, where he was named an Arjay Miller Scholar, a distinction awarded to the top 10% of each graduating class at the business school. He was born in Ghana but has lived and worked in about 10 different African countries.


Chris brings a hybrid background in business and education to his work designing and building institutions of excellence. Chris previously worked in brand management at The Procter and Gamble Company and as a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. He has also consulted to the Broad Foundation, one of the leading educational foundations in the United States, and taught economics and physics at Oundle School, one of the leading coeducational boarding schools in England. At Oundle, Chris developed a keen interest in the design of educational institutions, and in the potential for educational institutions to shape societies.

As a graduate student at Stanford University, Chris and colleague Fred Swaniker began to build African Leadership Academy, a pan-African institution that sought to address what they saw as the most important factor in Africa’s future development: the supply of ethical and entrepreneurial leaders across the continent. This work was validated in 2006, when Chris and Fred were named Echoing Green Fellows as two of the “leading emerging social entrepreneurs in the world” – selected from over 900 organizations worldwide.

Chris led the design of African Leadership Academy’s innovative curriculum, which merges rigorous academics with powerful courses in Entrepreneurial Leadership and African Studies. He also shaped the Academy’s admissions process, which has selected outstanding young leaders from numerous applicants in countries across Africa since 2008. With its unique focus and pan-African reach, the Academy is unlike any other school in the world.

Chris holds a BA degree summa cum laude in Economics from Yale University and an MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University. At Yale, Chris won the Delaney Kiphuth Scholar-Athlete Award as the graduating varsity athlete ranking highest in scholarship. At Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, he was named a Siebel Scholar, a distinction given to five students for academic excellence and extracurricular leadership. In 2011, he won the inaugural Siebel Scholars Impact Award for his work developing African Leadership Academy.


Andrew is the co-founder of GLA, and has extensive experience operating international educational programs around the world, including serving two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras. His overseas volunteer experience ignited a passion to share that experience with others, and he became vice president at a non-profit international volunteer organization. There, he helped build programs from scratch into a network of 14 countries and 2,500 volunteers, before going on to co-found Terra Education. He currently serves as the co-founder and director of Summer Springboard, pre-college programs in the US on university campuses.


Ryan is not only a Pediatric Resident Physician at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, but a Global Leadership Adventures alumnus from our South Africa program! A global health professional, he has also served on the board of Georgetown University’s Physicians for Human Rights.


Jordan has had an extensive career as a Country Director, with MSF / Doctors Without Borders. He has completed 17 missions in countries such as Haiti, Nigeria, Sudan, Syria, Chad, Uganda and Bangladesh.


Vijo is a co-founder of a land conservation organization that oversees and manages a nature reserve. He is an ambassador and advocate for both wild and captive Asian elephants. Vijo collaborates with GLA in Thailand through our Elephants & Conservation Expedition program.


Founder Wild Connection: WC manages the tourism and facilitates conservation programs on Somkhanda Big Five Community Game Reserve, South Africa. Together with Wildlands and the Emvokweni Community Trust their common goal is to continue to protect and develop the reserve & it’s wildlife and to generate economic opportunities for the surrounding communities & people.


Henry is the longtime Local Director for Global Leadership Adventures’ Ghana: Children of Africa program. In addition to guiding years of students through their first immersion trip to Western Africa, Henry will be leading a Ghanaian dance and drum session as part of our course.


Heather earned a Master’s in TEFL Education, and has taught English to students in California, Costa Rica, and Germany. With a background in working and living overseas, including on GLA’s Travel Coordination Team, Heather is passionate about sharing the possibilities of working and living abroad.


Ryan is the President of the Bali Institute and has been with the company since it began creating educational programs in 2009. Ryan is a group facilitator and leadership development trainer with a passion for youth development, global education and community building. He helped to design the GLA Bali programs and has led sessions there since 2011. Ryan has been living in Bali since 2010 but originally grew up in California. Ryan met his wife Prita in Bali, and they now have a 2-year old named Bodhi who can’t wait to join GLA when he is old enough!


Prita has been part of the Bali Institute team for more than 10 years, most recently as Operations Manager. She carries a deep understanding of the Balinese culture as seen through the eyes of foreigners, a unique skill that helps in designing components of the cultural experiences that are everlasting and transformative. She often leads cultural discussions and helps create seminars in collaboration with universities in Bali. She has also led special programs with Aboriginal university students from Australia, designed to strengthen and enhance Indonesian-Australian cultural exchange among young people.


Travis and Pilar aim to utilize their B-Corp business as a force for positive change in the world, and to build connections across global borders. They are longtime collaborators with GLA through various programs in Costa Rica, and Travis served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica and has stayed to continue to be an agent of change. Pilar will also be hosting a yoga class!


Anna is recognized as a top thought leader on generational leadership — with a client list that includes Amazon, Bloomberg, Coca Cola, Microsoft, and the NBA. She is the founder of The Generational Institute™ and is the author of the bestseller, Unlocking Generational CODES©. Anna’s most impressive generational credential? She is the youngest girl of nineteen children. This means that every Thanksgiving, graduation, and wedding is a case study in generational communication and relationship-building. Besides her generational work, Anna has started charities, served on over fifty boards, and is currently the President of the National Speakers Association.


Sarah is a 2013 alumna of GLA’s Building a Sustainable World program in the Dominican Republic, which sparked her interest in global health and human rights. She later obtained her degree in Public Health from the University of Georgia while continuing to visit the DR annually to assist with clean water initiatives. After graduation, Sarah worked as the International Director for GLA’s Global Health Initiative program in Haiti, where she stayed full-time to assist nonprofits with securing grants and teach english at a local elementary school. Today, she continues her work in public health and human rights, but has directed her focus to domestic voting rights and social justice causes.