Global Minds is a non-profit organization based in Pittsburgh, PA. Through after school programs, Global Minds offers opportunities for students of all ages, social groups, and nationalities to come together and build friendships while gaining important social skills and considering issues students face every day.
Often, English Language Learner (ELL) students struggle to find their place in US schools, as they face many difficulties – the most obvious of which are language barriers and cultural differences. This is where Global Minds steps in – to bridge the gaps that these students face.
By focusing on educational, discussion-based activities and homework help, Global Minds allows native English speaking student volunteers the opportunity to get to know this unique group of students by running simple, yet thought-provoking activities based on topics such as human rights, diversity, cultural identity, and conflict resolution.
By following the learn-do-apply method for all activities, student volunteers and ELL students are able to cultivate meaningful discussion and incorporate personal experience into most sessions together. In addition, student volunteers are constantly building leadership skills, while making meaningful friendships.
The ELL students, while receiving the language practice they need, are able to find a group of friends that appreciate their cultural differences, and want to see them succeed.
As an important issue our society faces today, Global Minds encourages participants to consider the importance and value of human rights, both here and abroad.
Human rights is a broad term that could be used to describe the basic rights that all humans should have – or could be a point of discussion and debate when considering the rights that exist around the world currently.
Since students participating in Global Minds have a wide range of experiences, culture, and beliefs, this is an important and interesting topic to discuss.
Often, ELL students struggle to bridge their identity while trying to assimilate into American culture. By encouraging these students to share aspects of their culture with the group, they are able to celebrate their culture in a safe setting with friends that are genuinely interested in appreciating differences.
Cultural identity can be defined differently depending on the student, but all ideas of how one defines himself/herself are welcomed.
In addition to simply cultural identity, students will explore the idea of ‘identity’ itself, and what that means in high school, as well as in the world.
High school students face conflicts every day. It’s important for students to discuss the conflicts that occur in high school, as well as the large, worldwide conflicts that we as a human race face.
No conflict is too small to consider and discuss – that’s why at Global Minds, students are encouraged to discuss the conflicts they face in a safe space.
When you think of sustainable development, most commonly the idea of planet conservation is what comes to mind. However, sustainable development is so much more than simply conservation and recycling; sustainable development opens up the conversation on creating sustainable cities and a sustainable human race.
Students consider what sustainability means, and what is important to sustain as we move forward. We encourage young people to get involved in the fight to create a more sustainable world.