Meet Four Academy Students!

Global Citizen Year Academy brings together hopeful and determined students from more than 80 countries across the globe. Academy students come from every background imaginable, but are united by a shared vision: to do their part to move the world ahead. Meet four of the students in the inaugural Academy cohort!


I'm an 18 year old Colombian gay author and story-telling fanatic.

Sam from Colombia
I adore anything that includes stories that reach the heart and bring about change in the world. I plan to use my stories to help people who have suffered injustices and inspire others to keep on fighting for a better world. I'm also a Broadway fan, a cat person, and a believer in the magical and impossible. During covid, I'm staying busy by planning for the future, mapping out what I'll do and how I'll do it.


I love all things musical, political, and bookish.

Abbie from England
I am passionate about gender equality, social justice, and pepperoni pizza!

I have lived in the UK all my life, so Global Citizen Academy has been an amazing chance to get to know people from different countries and cultures to my own. I have especially enjoyed co-founding the GCA book club (with members from over 20 countries!) with two wonderful girls from the US and Singapore; this has been so insightful as I have discovered how we are all exposed to social issues differently.

Through the impact partnerships, I am currently an intern at 'Take Action Global'. This is a wonderful organization using education to spread awareness about important topics. Being part of it has given me the chance to use my love of writing to help their current Climate Action Project by working on their blog for this program.

I love chatting about books, music, the state of UK politics, and feminism; one reason I love being part of GCA is that there is always someone who also wants to chat about these things. I don't know exactly what I want to do in the future aside from studying English literature, but I would love it to include these interests as then I will never be bored! :)


I'm an unshakeable optimist, a big dreamer, and an aspiring life-changer.

Angela from Macedonia
I believe that the power of never giving up is the only thing that can bring miracles in life. At least, it’s worked for me -- from holding the last place in the regional math Olympiad, I managed to be a national runner-up. From being a shy girl, afraid to raise a hand in class due to the daunting bullying, I managed to become an international public speaker.

Born and raised in Struga, North Macedonia, I'm a high school valedictorian currently taking a gap year to pursue my purpose and find my true north in the new normal. As a TED-ED Club speaker and a fan of Shawn Mendes, I discovered Global Citizen Year Academy. This cohort of amazing and diverse people motivate me to become the best version of myself.

I love to solve problems, both on paper and in real-life, and I received an innovator award for my projects on finding a sustainable way to clean oil spills. I'm a sustainability enthusiast working with impactful organizations such as the Global Changemakers, Zindi Africa, Oxfam America, and Take Action Global.

Now, taking a step up, I've founded an initiative to prove that each one of us matters when we are confronting a global issue. Through my start-up EnRoute, I'm on a mission to harness the power of small daily activities to reduce the number of CO2 emissions. Visit @enroute_app to learn more!


I am a 19-year-old Muslim-Bangladeshi woman who wants to change the world.

Ulviya from Bangladesh
I was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh but have lived in Scotland and Wales. Being a brown woman meant that I was born into a society of casual colorism, sexism, and misogyny. Throughout my life, it felt like I had to fight for my place at the table. And I did, I fought my best to make sure I was a force to be reckoned with. Growing up as a spiritual and dedicated Muslim was tough, as Western media portrayed my religion as the reason for terrorism. For a long time, I avoided talking about Islam to avoid making others uncomfortable, but I now realize how harmful it is to let stereotypes and misconceptions shrink you.

I always admired United World Colleges, and it felt like the perfect place to find my voice through my love for education so I zealously applied. I can confirm that after 2 magical years at @uwcatlantic (AC), it was the best decision I ever made. Being in a community of individuals from 90+ countries allowed me to question all my preconceived notions and grow tremendously. At AC, I was the Chair of the Peace Council, Leader of A21@AC, and National Leader of the Indian Subcontinent. Through these projects, I constantly reflected on the world and my identity. I also worked with refugees in Cardiff, which was the most life-changing experience I had.

In the Academy, I am in Section F and the Media Fellowship group! Through the impact partnership, I am pursuing my passion for advocacy and women’s rights through an internship with CARE USA. In the future, I aspire to be an international human rights lawyer to create an active change in the world. In my free time, you can find me choreographing Kathak dances or making digital art for @ulviyart_!