Model & Strategy

Global Citizen Year (GCY) is forging a new educational pathway for America’s emerging leaders. By immersing a diverse corps of fellows in developing countries during a “bridge year” after high school, GCY prepares them for success in college, careers and the global economy.

Each year, GCY recruits and trains a diverse corps of high potential high school graduates and supports them through a transformative bridge year before college. Through intensive training and immersion in communities across Africa, Latin America and eventually Asia and the Middle East, Fellows contribute to local efforts in education, technology, health and the environment while developing the global competence, entrepreneurial savvy and self-awareness they need to be transformative leaders in college, their careers and life. GCY is redefining education in America beyond this core program by partnering with colleges, media and policy-makers.

Ultimately, GCY envisions a world in which this bridge year becomes a common expectation and opportunity—transforming education, and unleashing the potential of the next generation as social innovators and global citizens.

At a Glance
Founded: 2008
Civic Engagement
Location of work: International, Asia, South America
Global Citizen Year
1625 Clay Street
Suite 400
Oakland, CA 94612
Equipping a new generation of leaders for our global century
Meet Abigail Falik

Abigail Falik is the founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year. Prior to founding Global Citizen Year, Falik applied her entrepreneurial instincts to innovative educational initiatives in the U.S. and around the world. She was an early team member at College Track, an organization focused on ensuring college success for low-income students, as well as a strategic advisor to Room to Read, an organization that helps build literacy skills in Africa and Asia. During her tenure at NetAid (later acquired by Mercy Corps), she designed and launched a flagship initiative to engage U.S. high school students in the fight to end global poverty.

Abby has been featured in Fast Company, NPR, Forbes and the New York Times. For her achievements as a social entrepreneur, she has been recognized as an Ashoka Fellow and a Harvard Social Enterprise Fellow.

Impact

To date, Global Citizen Year has transformed the lives of over 500 diverse, emerging leaders. Over 80% have received need-based financial aid.

Global Citizen Year has also invested in building a movement around bridge years, helping colleges formalize their programs: Tufts University’s “1+4” model encourages – and pays for – the bridge year, and the New School’s “1+3” year model provides a full year of academic credit to Global Citizen Year Fellows.

  • Great interview taken by one of our Senegal fellows Katie Dodge. About Senegalese culture through history, the effe… https://t.co/iC4BVJB6lr
  • Shaping and changing the spaces where we work, how we work and possibly how we live. The future will require diffe… https://t.co/ixzTRFqJS1
  • Reminder that our March 1st deadline is approaching! Get a chance to travel the world, immerse in a new culture, a… https://t.co/EUbVkzC3D8
  • Unglue yourself from your phone with these easy to follow steps! And connect with reality, your-self, and those aro… https://t.co/BIuq9ezToF
  • Our fellow Toluwani Roberts' diary posts of her independent travel through Ecuador! Check her blog to find out more… https://t.co/LPSX7H25Ys
  • As a strategy to improve their foreign language skills during their #gapyear some of our fellows watch YouTubers su… https://t.co/3nN8LJod4n
  • "Over the past five months living in Ecuador, I have become a strong, confident, and passionate woman. When I first… https://t.co/nfcmm4rlN9
  • Easy ≠ Good How a convenience based culture is taking away some of the challenges that makes us grow in our day to… https://t.co/dtQo0avJtZ
  • Hello there! Remember our first deadline to join the next Global Citizen Year cohort is coming up on March 1st!!! G… https://t.co/qioCNeo9U9
  • Check out these 7 concrete universal skills that can help you figure things out a long the way and keep you focused… https://t.co/xwvqjqajj7
  • "Digital Nomads" are the new generation of workers: connected, global, and always on the look for the next great de… https://t.co/FRa7uOhsXX
  • People across the world are having to change the way they go about their daily lives due to pollution and… https://t.co/NSYoOmk3pM
  • To get you through the week, here is a video of chimps playing around with cameras and filming a day in their lives… https://t.co/0t3h36sxou
  • We all have some unfinished books on our shelves. Here is a comic look at our relationships with them. And now tha… https://t.co/yzvZlxZntK
  • Become a change-maker! Take a #gapyear with Global Citizen YearYear and join the social entrepreneur revolution.… https://t.co/ujXZpDr3c6
  • Now, more than ever is speaking another language fundamental. Through a #gapyear experience in a foreign country ou… https://t.co/WX2oNxkbGw
  • Brazil fellow Carlos Henriquez, tells us about his experience participating in the conference Festival… https://t.co/nkXwJyp2fa
  • Amazing video from one of our Ecuador fellows, take a peek at what a #gapyear through Global Citizen Year looks lik… https://t.co/DB77vHikSJ
  • Senegal fellow shares her personal aspirations that help through her gap year journey in themes such as “… https://t.co/SodsgzybXF
  • “The fact that a class like this has such large interest speaks to how tired students are of numbing their emotions… https://t.co/3mq4VOPGng