DCPS-Global Citizen Year Fellow Featured in The Washington Post
They are already activists, nonprofit leaders and world travelers. They have collected acceptance letters to prestigious universities, signed commitment letters to start jobs in the coming weeks and enrolled in academies to become police officers and firefighters.
They are teenagers and adults who took different paths to reach the graduation stage, immigrants and third- and fourth-generation Washingtonians.
They have aspirations they think can change the world, and after receiving their diplomas this month, the District’s Class of 2019 is closer to making that happen.
Hundreds of students in the Class of 2019 have traveled to foreign countries through the school system’s study-abroad program.
Nina Payne, who graduated from Phelps ACE High School, spent about a week with a host family in Peru her junior year. It was her first time out of the country and her second time on a plane. She caught the travel bug and is determined to speak Spanish fluently.
Before she attends college, she plans to take a gap year in Ecuador through Global Citizen Year, a fellowship that has teamed with the school system to provide graduates with leadership training abroad.
Payne, who dreams of a career in international business, is slated to stay with a host family in Ecuador and work in a school or hospital. After that, she plans to enroll at Old Dominion University in Virginia.
“If I hadn’t gone to Peru, I would never have thought of doing a gap year,” Payne said. “This will help me to be more independent, and going from high school to college could have been overwhelming.”