Posted by: Kristin | November 19, 2010

Ashoka Fellows – Speaking from the Heart

Earlier this week, while on business in Washington DC, I had the pleasure of being on a panel with two other Ashoka fellows, Molly Barker and Vishal Talreja. Usually when we Ashoka fellows gather, we are very focused on describing the work we do in the world. For some reason, this was a particularly powerful experience because we focused more on who we ARE as people vs. what we DO in the world. In American society, our focus is usually on the “doing” vs. the “being” – yet this conversation was more engaging and inspiring for all of us…

Check out the interview:

Posted by: Kristin | November 4, 2010

Choose Your Vision, Every Single Day!

I had the pleasure of giving a speech yesterday in Seattle on “Leadership”….a big topic. I chose to focus on my own life story and how that has influenced and inspired my work today, leading to and through OneWorld Now!.

As I reflected on what I might say, I realized that “leading” and “living one’s vision” is actually a conscious choice for me every day. Of course, when I’m really doing what I love, it seeps into my subconscious, but mostly, I wake up every morning and think intentionally about what I want to create that day. I check myself on what I’m creating in my relationships, knowing that it all has a ripple effect in the world at large. If I’m holding onto to some kind of resentment or misunderstanding toward someone, I intuitively feel that it is somehow connected to the larger conflicts and misunderstandings around me.

I believe that leadership starts from within. We teach our students at OneWorld Now! that personal leadership is essential to global leadership. This is something we get to choose (and it’s not always easy) every single day. Of course when the vision is bigger than ourselves, that inspires staying the course!

Posted by: Kristin | October 21, 2010

Be a Better Manager – Live Abroad

Just read this interesting article, in the September 2010 issue of the Harvard Business Review called “Be a Better Manager: Live Abroad”.   New research demonstrates how people who live abroad have greater problem-solving and creative skills and therefore make better entrepreneurs and managers.  In Europe, where the concept of the “Gap Year” (spending a year abroad between high school and college) has long been encouraged, I’ve been told that most employers already hold this belief about the benefits of hiring folks who have lived abroad.

In the USA, attitudes are slowly changing, but the cultural context here does not especially value time abroad.  We, at OneWorld Now!, are strongly advocating on behalf of institutionalizing the “Gap Year” concept for young Americans.  In our country, where less than 1% of high school students and 1% of college students study abroad, we have a long ways to go towards building this Gap Year movement.   Furthermore, the majority of these youth who do study abroad are Caucasian and come from privileged families.   We at OWN are committed to making these study abroad experiences accessible to all students, as we are doing now!



Posted by: Kristin | October 20, 2010

OneWorld Now! Launches New Website

We at OneWorld Now! are very excited to have launched our new      website, which does a better job capturing the innovative nature of our social venture.   So check out OneWorld Now! and let us know what you think!

The new site includes more photos, videos, blogs and student stories.  In addition, it does a great job of explaining how OneWorld Now! is unique through our innovative and integrated program model of language, leadership and study abroad for underserved youth!

You can also sign up for our newsletter and support our Gap Year movement in America!

Posted by: Kristin | October 13, 2010

OneWorld Now! New School Year Starts!

OneWorld Now! just kicked off it’s 9th year of programming in Seattle this month!  Students from 8 Seattle high schools are involved –  learning Arabic, Chinese, leadership skills and having the opportunity to study abroad in the Middle East and China!

Posted by: Kristin | September 22, 2010

Kicking off the New School Year!

Where to begin…

Well, September is always a busy month for OneWorld Now!, as we’re recruiting for our new program throughout Seattle public schools before our October beginning!

Before I say more, we were pleased to see OneWorld Now! featured prominently in the International Educator, NAFSA magazine’s cover story, “Opening Young Eyes.”   We especially appreciated that they used so many beautiful photos of our youth throughout the article!

We have some big news coming down the pipeline, to be announced next month, on our first OneWorld Now! expansion city!  We’ll keep this a surprise for now, but think SUNSHINE (that’s your hint) vs. RAIN (oh, so Seattle).

More details soon.  Right now, it’s recruitment, recruitment, recruitment…where every room in our office (including the storage room) is bursting with students and being used for student interviews (we’ve found it’s important to lay out expectations and interview potential students – so they realize what a SIGNIFICANT commitment they are about to make by joining OneWorld Now!)…

Posted by: Kristin | August 10, 2010

Immersion Language Camps – A great way to learn!

OneWorld Now! is finishing up an exciting 3-week summer immersion camp in Chinese and Arabic for high school students in the Seattle area. Having studied Russian language myself at Middlebury’s Immersion Summer Camp years ago, I know first-hand the value of a total immersion experience. It’s the best way to learn a language (other than traveling to the country where the language is spoken daily). This year, we also have developed a website just for the camp, complete with videos, photos, etc. from the 3-week camp at Seattle University.

There are a lot of great opportunities nationwide to learn critical languages in an immersion environment for all ages.   For younger students, you can go into the woods in Minnesota (Concordia Language Village) to have a great experience.  Otherwise, Startalk summer programs are sprouting up all over the nation.  We sent three of our OneWorld Now! students to Hawaii this summer to learn Chinese in an immersion camp there.   Otherwise, the Middlebury-Monterey Summer Language camps are still probably one of the very the best!

Posted by: Kristin | June 9, 2010

OneWorld Now! Youth Shine in Doha

Ali and Jackie, OneWorld Now! alumni from the Evergreen State College, just returned from Doha, Qatar where they were the young stars of the Doha Forum! 10th Annual Doha Forum for Democracy, Free Trade and Development ended last weekend. The world’s elite, including ex-Presidents, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, US Congressional Representatives, etc., gathered for this unique forum in Doha. OneWorld Now! students Jackie and Ali were the only young people that attended the conference and delivered a powerful message at the conclusion of the Doha Forum to the crowd of approximately 400 global leaders. Ali and Jackie spoke on the podium and impressed upon the importance of including more youth voices in such an important global forum! Their inspiring words left a positive impression and talk of creating a Youth Forum in Doha in the near future.

Ali and Jackie’s trip was sponsored by the government of Qatar (and support of OneWorld 2011) and they were treated like royalty, traveling first class from Seattle to Doha and staying at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Doha. Ali said, upon returning from this magical experience, that “people would dream of attending such an important global event with the world’s elite leaders…and I lived that life for three days!” “Now I’m even more inspired to give back! I left really understanding that if young people aren’t provided the education and tools to succeed, no country will be successful in the future!”

Ali and Jackie – we’re very proud of you, inspiring global leaders!

Ali and Jackie both studied Arabic and leadership through OneWorld Now! in high school and studied abroad on scholarships in Egypt and Morocco.

Posted by: Kristin | May 26, 2010

OWN Youth Represent in Qatar

OneWorld Now! alumni Ali Assim and Jackie Brown will be speaking this weekend on a Youth Panel at the 10th Annual Doha Forum for Democracy, Free Trade and Development! This is an amazing opportunity for our young leaders who will be hobnobbing with the world’s elite and giving their unique perspective on globalization. Ali and Jackie studied Arabic and leadership through OneWorld Now! and studied abroad on scholarships to Morocco and Egypt when they were in high school. As college students (from the Evergreen State College), they now have another opportunity to put their global leadership skills into action! Check out the details of the conference and see who they will be meeting.

Qatar is one of the richest nation’s in the world (thanks to the abundance of oil and gas) and the government has kindly sponsored Ali and Jackie’s trip and participation in this panel.  This will certainly be a golden opportunity for these young leaders!

Posted by: Kristin | April 29, 2010

Confucius Institute Opens in Washington State


The Chinese-speaking Emcee’s of the Opening Ceremonies for the CI (Philmon and first-graders Delancy & Nat)


Our former student, Philmon, flew back from Swarthmore College to be the emcee at the Opening Ceremonies. He welcomed the crowd of over 300 students, school officials, journalists and visiting dignitaries in excellent Mandarin and English. He shared his journey of studying Chinese through OneWorld Now!, his year in China and his passion for mastering the language.

In partnership with Seattle Public Schools, the University of Washington, and Hanban (a Chinese nonprofit group affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education), Washington State finally hosts a Confucius Institute! There are more than 50 in the United States and these CI’s represent a significant investment by the Chinese Government. Their primary mission is to make Chinese language, culture, and teaching resources available to the world.

As OneWorld Now! has been the pioneer in teaching Chinese to Seattle Public High School students for the past 8 years, we celebrate this very significant opportunity to spread Chinese language, culture and exchanges throughout the state!

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