Global Citizen Year to Receive Ashoka-Cordes Innovation Award


February 5, 2013 – Ashoka, a global organization that identifies and invests in leading social entrepreneurs, announced today that Global Citizen Year will receive an award for innovation in higher education.

Global Citizen Year is being recognized for its efforts to transform American education by creating new pathways into college for young leaders from across the socioeconomic spectrum. The award will help advance Global Citizen Year’s vision of a world in which a Bridge Year to college is a common opportunity and an expected step in the education of young leaders.

In 2012, Global Citizen Year launched a groundbreaking partnership to enable its Fellows to receive college credit for their Bridge Year. Students accepted into this special program participate in Global Citizen Year’s intensive 10-month leadership training program in the developing world while earning up to a full year of college credit. Participants are simultaneously enrolled at The New School, and in addition to Global Citizen Year’s curriculum they complete assignments designed by The New School faculty. The program allows students to receive 30 credits towards graduation, thereby placing them on track to begin their on-campus college experience as sophomores. This inaugural college partnership advances Global Citizen Year’s aim to re-envision the transition into college, and to do so in a way that can be replicated and adapted on a national scale.

Global Citizen Year is actively seeking college partners that share its vision for a new generation of service-oriented Americans equipped with the global perspective, entrepreneurial skills and grit needed to succeed on college campuses and lead in a fast-changing world. Earning academic credit for a global bridge year after high school is one of multiple strategies Global Citizen Year is pursuing to catalyze a paradigm shift in higher education. Today, the organization is developing models around joint admissions and financial aid with a broad range of colleges. Additionally, through its public policy and media efforts, Global Citizen Year is changing cultural perceptions about how best to prepare young leaders for success in college and their careers.

The innovation award is administered through a partnership between Ashoka U, an initiative of Ashoka focused on supporting social entrepreneurship education, and the Cordes Foundation. Abigail Falik, founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year, will give a presentation and receive the award at the Ashoka U Exchange, hosted at the University of San Diego from February 21 – 23, 2013. The event will bring together over 150 colleges and universities representing forty countries to share best practices and advance collaborative projects at the nexus of social entrepreneurship and higher education.

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