If you’ll remember this post, you’ll remember that I took a special trip to Atlanta last week to help celebrate the campaign launch of an amazing organization, the National Center for Global Engagement (NC4GE). So what would prompt me to take a spontaneous road trip just to attend this particular event? It’s hard to put into words, but when you really believe in something, you believe in its purpose, and you want to show your support (and you’re unemployed so you don’t have to call in ‘sick’), you just go. A lot of people asked me why I would go to Atlanta just for a day (less than 24 hours really), and if there was ever a reason to do it, NC4GE would be it.
I’ll save the story of how I found out about NC4GE and got involved with their cause for another day. Today, I’ll just spend a minute letting you know about the organization, itself – and why you will probably hear about them on a grand scale in the very near future. First check out this video from 2007 (Bardoli Global has now evolved into the K-12 portion of NC4GE):
NC4GE is an organization that provides access to educational, civic, and professional opportunities abroad to high-potential students of color who have the abilities, but who may not have the resources or exposure to do these things on their own. It is more than just your typical study abroad company. Although studying abroad plays a major role in the participant’s experience with NC4GE, their journey doesn’t stop there. In fact, it is merely the beginning – which really sets NC4GE apart. Right now the highlight of the organization is the high school piece (yes this organization reaches you long before you get to college) which includes a summer study abroad, a service project related to their study abroad or professional interests, and an internship. The study abroad experience is not only an opportunity to see the world and come home with thousands of photos and stories; it is an opportunity to come back to the U.S. with the determination to take something you learned and do something about it. People who go through NC4GE can honestly say “study abroad changed my life.” Currently they have sent high school students in the Houston, Atlanta, and Charlotte, NC metro areas abroad through this program. I can only imagine how many more cities will be added to that list in the next few years given the determination, passion, and sheer ingenuity of the people behind NC4GE.
There is so much more I can say about NC4GE so I’m thinking this may have to be a multi-part post before it gets too long. The next post will be all about last week’s event. Hopefully I’ll be able to find some pictures. To learn more about the National Center for Global Engagement, visit their website or follow them on twitter – they can express their mission much better than I!