Global Citizen Corps: youth changing the world

May 14, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    courtesy of Dan O&#039;Neill  </span>
    Kevyn O'Neill, daughter of Mercy Corps Founder Dan O'Neill and current Global Citizen Corps intern at our Seattle office. Photo: courtesy of Dan O'Neill

So, is it OK for a dad to brag on a blog? My daughter, Kevyn, is a 4.0 student majoring in social welfare and communications at Seattle University. In spite of the fact that she is carrying a heavy academic load, she has been volunteering to assist inner city disadvantaged children. I assumed she was pretty well booked. So it came as a bit of a surprise when she approached me about becoming an intern in Mercy Corps' Seattle office.

"That would be great," I said, "but I can't do any special favors to get you in." She understood but asked if I would take her to the office just to meet the staff. Knowing Kevyn, I had a pretty good idea what would happen next.

Within an hour, Mercy Corps staffer Greg Tuke, came into my office and asked, "Would you mind if I offer Kevyn an internship? We can really use someone like her in our Global Citizen Corps program." That was seven months ago and Kevyn still comes into our office every week to work on the special projects Greg assigns her. Very cool. I'm a proud dad!

But what's even cooler is the fact that I've been turned on to Global Citizen Corps (GCC), a program that should give us all a little more hope for the future. GCC is an international movement of inspired youth who connect globally and act locally. Using social media, young people learn about global poverty, exchange ideas with other youth around the world, talk with experts on global issues and find new ways to take unified action to build an international movement promoting positive change.

GCC also provides a leadership program working with 1,000 youth leaders. Issues now being addressed online include education, human rights, climate change, conflict, good governance, global health, hunger, water and other important topics. Students "meet" by Skype, text, email and attend international conferences.

I am thankful to Kevyn for prompting me to drill down into the GCC website and learn more. It was right under my nose the whole time. This is exciting stuff!

Youth leaders of the world are already busy building a better world. And we can all be a part of it by encouraging youth everywhere to get involved.