Harvard Business School Alumni Podcast: Bridging the Gap with Abby Falik

Global Citizen Year founder Abby Falik on why kids need to find their purpose before freshman year

When Abby Falik was 18 years old and getting ready to graduate from high school, she found herself wanting to stretch. She was hungry for a kind of deep life experience before she headed off to college that would help her figure out who she was—and maybe who she wanted to be.

Falik never did find that outlet, which inspired her to build it herself. She spent her two years at HBS narrowing the vision and the model of an organization that she felt could address this unmet need. The result? Global Citizen Year, a rethinking of the traditional gap-year experience for high school graduates, focused on leadership development and featuring experiential, community-level project work in Asia, Africa, or Latin America.

Global Citizen Year has now supported almost 1,000 fellows in its 10 years of existence, and in this episode of Skydeck our associate editor Jen Flint spoke to Falik about why the phrase “gap year” is a misnomer and why we need to stop rushing our children off to college.