Service Partnerships and Projects at GLA: Fostering Sustainable Impact


At GLA, our commitment to community development extends beyond temporary engagement. Year after year, we forge partnerships with organizations and individuals deeply ingrained in the communities we serve. These partners are champions of long-term development projects driven by community input and support. We aim to cultivate enduring relationships prioritizing safety, dignity, sustainability, and social responsibility for student volunteers and host communities.


A significant portion of each GLA student’s tuition is dedicated to supporting our service partners. This contribution encompasses the costs associated with students’ service projects, including the salaries of professionals guiding and managing these initiatives. For some partners, this financial support extends to overall operations and long-term sustainability, ensuring their impactful work continues year-round.

As each service partnership and project is unique, GLA tailors its financial contributions based on the specific needs of the program. Specialty initiatives, such as public health and marine conservation, may involve more substantial contributions due to the technical support required from local medical professionals and scientists.


GLA prioritizes local expertise, relying on qualified professionals to facilitate and supervise all service activities. These professionals guide our teenage volunteers and program staff, ensuring appropriate levels of involvement. Participants, including field staff, are expected to observe and assist under the direct supervision of service partners and their support staff.

For instance, in public health programs, students shadow medical professionals and assist exclusively under the direct supervision and guidance of doctors, nurses, and licensed caretakers. Similarly, in infrastructural work programs, students receive direct instruction from local craftsmen and engage in age-appropriate tasks.

Upholding rigorous risk management practices and ethical standards, GLA annually vets service projects through collaboration with the GLA Programs team and field staff. Policies, including Animal Welfare and Vulnerable Adults and Child Protection, guide decision-making across all programs, aligning with U.S. and local laws, CDC standards, and the local Ministry of Health.


After each program session and at the summer’s end, GLA conducts a comprehensive Community Impact Assessment. This assessment evaluates our service projects’ qualitative and quantitative effects on host communities. Annual reviews of Community Impact Data, recorded by our field staff and service partners, provide insights into GLA’s service impact and alignment with partner organizations. This data is collated with previous years’ information to understand GLA’s long-term impact in communities.

To ensure ongoing alignment with our service standards, GLA relies on student and staff reports, supplemented by bi-annual site visits. This holistic approach ensures that our service partnerships continue to make a positive and sustainable impact, fostering growth and development in the communities we serve.