OneWorld Now!'s mission is to develop the next generation of global leaders. We open up access to international education for low-income, minority high school students.
OneWorld Now!'s unique approach combines leadership training for 21st century skills, world language learning (Chinese, Arabic and Korean), one-on-one mentoring, and scholarship-based study abroad opportunities. Through our sustained outreach activities, we continue to support alumni with college and career advising, internships, and scholarships related to international service and careers. In doing so, we are growing what many students refer to as the OneWorld Now! community, which is diverse, supportive and inspiring.
"OWN is a family and community that is loving and accepting. It's a place to grow as a person and to make friends from different schools and around the world. OWN means life long friends, safe communities, opportunities and leadership." - Judy, Franklin High School, OWN Class of 2014
“OWN is a place where I am comfortable being myself and where I know I will learn valuable things every day.” - Soraya, Nova High School, OWN Class of 2015
WEEKLY LEADERSHIP WORKSHOPS
Our weekly leadership workshops employ the experiential learning cycle, taking students on a journey to discover more about themselves, their peers, other cultures and how we are globally interconnected. Our unique curriculum, driven by the need for 21st century skills instruction, offers students the social and emotional skills and mindsets that are often not addressed in public schools. Students are challenged to step out of their comfort zone, to overcome the ‘voice of doubt’ and embrace attitudes of possibility and intentionality.
“OWN means stepping out of your comfort zone, while having fun! I'm thankful for leadership. It has opened my mind and made me think of things differently.” - Warda, Chief Sealth International High School, OWN class of 2015
The "soft" skills that students acquire contribute to personal and professional development. These include: emotional management, critical thinking, collaboration, self-confidence, civic engagement, and risk management. These are all qualities of successful global citizens, those able to work across different cultures and to adapt and excel in diverse settings. In terms of “hard” skills, students are further endowed with abilities that will remain relevant throughout their lives: public-speaking, budgeting, project management, interview skills, essay writing, foreign languages and more. These lead OWN students to become drivers of positive change in today's global economy.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSES IN ARABIC, CHINESE & KOREAN
Less than 3% of American high school students study Chinese, yet China is the second-largest economy in the world, a major strategic power, and the United States' fastest-growing trade partner. Less than 1% of high schools students study Arabic language, yet it is clear that speaking Arabic and understanding the Arab world is vital for American foreign policy, diplomacy, and business. Twice weekly, students attend Chinese or Arabic language classes and earn world language credit on their transcript that can make the difference in applying to four-year colleges. The critical language skills that our students gain make them more competitive college applicants while providing a leading edge in the job market. In the 2015-2016 school year we are planning on introducing Korean language, as a third language offered in our program.
“OWN is helping me follow my dreams. My dream is to learn 10 languages, and Chinese is one of them. OWN means everything to me.” - Mario, Renton High School, OWN Class of 2015.
ACCESS TO STUDY ABROAD & EXCHANGE PROGRAMS
Through our individual donor base and strategic partnerships with various study abroad providers, OneWorld Now! creates access to summer study abroad opportunities for students from low-income backgrounds. On a life changing journey across the globe, students experience immersion language learning, explore local culture through home stays and historical sites, and develop intercultural leadership skills. This experience often proves to be pivotal for students, further supporting their aspirations to higher education and international careers.
“Study Abroad influenced me to major in International Studies. . . . I have been more open to try new things. Also, I have become a better listener. I think it is very important to listen and learn about other people’s stories.” - Kevin, Garfield High School, OWN Class of 2013
OUR IMPACT & SUCCESS STORIES
We consider our work successful when we create the educational opportunities that first and foremost positively change the life trajectories of our students. Success is when students consider their experience with OneWorld Now! as a pivotal moment in their lives, influencing how they understand themselves, view life, set goals, work to achieve them, and eventually give back to their broader community.
“My journey has been an amazing one, one that began with my decision to study Mandarin Chinese as a high school student with OneWorld Now!. It changed the entire trajectory of my life. I am entirely grateful for all the lessons I learned, not just in the language component of OneWorld Now!, but in the global leadership courses which taught me to lean into discomfort to maximize my learning experience. I learned I should never allow money to be a factor in how I develop my future. I learned that compassion extends beyond the borders of country and we are all responsible for each other’s well-being.” - Pauline, Franklin High School, OWN Class of 2007
Pauline just completed her graduate studies at the Zhejiang University in China, pursuing a Master of Arts in Linguistics. She aspires to become a foreign service officer, so that she may be a liaison and a cultural ambassador between the United States and China.
“OneWorld Now! has opened the gate of opportunities for me, and I don’t know how to thank them. I hope that one day I can return and give back.” - Ali, Roosevelt High School, Class of 2009
OneWorld Now! supported Ali to attend Evergreen State College and to obtain an internship at the State Department. Today, Ali works full-time in the Office of the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights at U.S. Department of State. Another important result is when our program develops within students an interest in purposeful civic engagement and social responsibility.
OWN students have contributed thousands of hours of service in Seattle and abroad through social ventures, NGOs, and "give-back" projects. The impact is enormous and we are seeing it grow significantly among OWN alumni as they graduate from college and begin their careers. We hope to see more and more OWN youth apply their business savvy, increased confidence and self-awareness to become leaders in their communities and to respond to social injustices with innovative solutions.
We expect many students will follow in the footsteps of other OWN alumni such as Binh, who started her own social venture, called Translate Change. With emphasis on developing global awareness and promoting social justice within the Seattle community, Translate Change strives to serve non-English speaking communities, including immigrants and refugees, through translation services and community programs, with the ultimate goal of ensuring their fair representation and access to opportunity in the United States.
Another OWN alumnus, Justin, graduated from Ingraham High School in 2012 and went on to create and launch Innovii during his freshman year in college. Innovii is a micro-lending social venture dedicated to accessibility to innovation and youth entrepreneurship for high school students. Since then, Justin has also co-founded StartUp UW, which is the most diverse entrepreneurship club on campus with over 80 members.
Alumnus Nejat was awarded grant-money to organize and run a social justice art camp for high school students. Along with many other alumni, Nejat returned to volunteer and later work with OWN as a leadership co-facilitator and study abroad chaperon. Nejat is studying at UW Bothell majoring in Global Studies, American and Ethnic Studies and also went on to study Persian. As a result of language learning, global leadership skills, and expanded opportunities we hope to see OWN youth successfully leave their imprints on the global community. OWN graduates are well placed to represent the rich diversity of the United States as global ambassadors and leaders.
“I am grateful for OneWorld Now!’s focus on global leadership and awareness, which has helped me expand my previously nascent global perspective. OneWorld Now! encourages its students to think about the limitations in our world as being created by ourselves. My experiences in the global leadership courses have inspired me to become a catalyst for social change and to help others realize their goals….I am confident that OneWorld Now! has given me the skills and instilled in me the values that will make my dream a reality.” - Philmon, Garfield High School, OWN Class of 2007
Today, Philmon is fluent in both Chinese and Arabic languages. During the 2014-2015 academic year, Philmon has been living in Amman completing a Fulbright Research Fellowship, while completing an internship with the UN Refugee Agency. He has been offered a full fellowship to complete a Masters in Global Affairs at Yale University, and was awarded the Charles B. Rangel Fellowship, which paves the way for entry into the U.S. Foreign Service upon graduation.