Our Impact

From Our Founder

When I finished high school I was determined to find an experience that would shape my values, identity and sense of purpose before setting foot on a college campus. I’d been a good student, checked the boxes, and gotten into Stanford. But I knew in my gut, something was missing: I’d let school interfere with my real education.

Ever since, I’ve been obsessed with the historic opportunity to create a new -- and better -- cultural template for the transition into adulthood.

There’s a developmental magic in the moment when a young person has the maturity to leave home but hasn’t yet fixed their values or identity. But in today’s world, high-achieving students hustle toward an abstract finish line; they're discouraged from stepping off the treadmill -- let alone adjusting the incline or speed.

Since 2010, Global Citizen Year has helped over 1,500 exceptional young people find their purpose, their people and their power to change the world. We’re changing the who and how of our next generation leaders in order to create a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future.

Today we have a world-class team, a stellar track-record, and a dynamic (and growing!) community of alumni, partners and donors worldwide. Together we’re building the world’s launch pad for changemakers -- equipping leaders who reflect society’s diversity and are equipped to change the world, for good.

Will you join us?

gcy impact





New Leaders





gcy card image


of Global Citizen Year students are from low income backgrounds

compared to


of gap year participants nationally

gcy card image


of Global Citizen Year students are students of color

compared to


of gap year participants nationally

gcy card image


of all Global Citizen Year students receive need-based financial aid



of all Global Citizen Year students receive full financial aid

A Transformative Experience

Learn how
Global Citizen
Year alumni...

23% 85%

Emotionally prepared for college

21% 76%

Have clear goals for college


Maximize College

Alumni have the insights and agency to make the most of college


say their Global Citizen Year has been instrumental in shaping their college experience


say their Global Citizen Year increased their self-confidence


say their Global Citizen Year helped them develop the agency to make the most of college


Global Citizen Year changed the way I see my education. It isn't a pipeline. It's a complicated network of roads, highways, and choices all of which could take me down different courses. My Global Citizen Year is my GPS."

author headshot

J.I. Cruz, Senegal '15, American University '19


of Fellows placed in Brazil, Ecuador or Senegal return proficient in a second language

Apply Cross-cultural Skills

Alumni use curiosity and empathy to work effectively across lines of difference


are able to see the world from someone else’s perspective


are able to work cooperatively with diverse groups


have tolerance for others with different beliefs

My Global Citizen Year is the defining, pivotal point of my life, and has impacted every choice I've made since. I am a different human being on a cellular level. The way I interact with the world is different. I used to be closed off to everything because of uncertainty and fear. Now I aim higher and dream bigger.””

author headshot

Allie McKinney, Senegal '14, University of North Carolina '18

transformative photo

Become Engaged Citizens

Alumni demonstrate the courage to stand up for their beliefs


believe it is ‘very important’ or ‘essential’ to challenge inequity in all its forms


have challeged others on issues of discrimination during the past year


recognize the biases that affect their own thinking

Today, I have the confidence that I need to learn and grow in any situation. Because of Global Citizen Year, I’m more open to taking risks, embracing failures, and chasing uncertainty.”

author headshot

Mouna Algahaithi, Senegal 2014, University of Wisconsin Madison 2019
Education Specialist, PBS

transformative photo

Lead with Purpose

Alumni are aligning their work with their convictions


believe their Global Citizen Year made them more aware of their strengths and weaknesses as a leader


believe their Global Citizen Year helped them develop a clearer sense of purpose


believe their Global Citizen Year influenced the career path they chose to pursue

In Ecuador I discovered an interest at the intersection of energy and sustainability, and this has informed everything I’ve done since. My Global Citizen Year gave me the space to discern what I’m passionate about, and the courage to pursue it.”

author headshot

Jordan Lee, Ecuador 2013, Yale University 2017
Research Analyst, McKinsey & Company

A Lifetime of Impact

Alumni are leading lives that change the world

Our alumni are thriving in colleges and careers in over 60 countries. They’re being honored with prestigious awards and recognition and are working for influential organizations and companies. Global Citizen Year alumni are already having an outsized impact on society; and they’re just getting started!

logo logologologo logo logo logo
booklet mockup

Download our Alumni Outcomes Report

Marking a decade of impact, our Alumni Outcomes Report shows how our programs are equipping students with a sense of purpose, a global perspective, and the agency to take ownership of their education.

Download Now


Join our amazing community of donors to launch the leaders the world needs now.
Global Citizen Year is a 501c3, non-profit, and all contributions are fully tax-deductible.